‘Ghost of Tulare’

Posted on | December 9, 2009 | No Comments

OldCalMap“Tufts of unmilled cotton line Utica Avenue like clumps of dirty spring snow,” writes Judith Lewis in High Country News. “The road is like hundreds of others in the dun-and-green checkerboard of California’s Central Valley, a two-lane highway running straight as a zipper past geometrically arranged almond orchards and vineyards. Steve Haze, a candidate for U.S. Congress, is out here on what he calls “recon,” determined to debunk the local billboard slogans. “Congress-Created Drought” is common in fallow fields, right behind “Food Grows Where Water Flows” and “Water = Jobs.” The signs were put up by corporate growers and water-management leaders, who complain that a federal court decision that reduced their irrigation deliveries to save a tiny fish put thousands of people out of work. Haze thinks the reality is more complicated … He would like to see [Tulare Lake] brought back to life to help solve California’s water problems.”

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To keep reading about one man’s dream to restore the lost Tulare Lake, once one of the largest freshwater bodies west of the Mississippi, click here. For the Twitter account of the writer, accomplished LA-based environment reporter Judith Lewis, click here. After reading Lewis’s article, head to a library for a copy of “The King of California,” the story of JG Boswell, whose cotton grows on the Tulare lakebed.

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