THE SAN JOAQUIN: A RIVER BETRAYED

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The story of the San Joaquin California's heartland river its people, its places, its past. In the maiden embrace of Thousand Island Lake, Garnet Lake and Shadow Lake sparkling gems of the John Muir Trail country the collected droplets of what will become the San Joaquin River gather. At these first resting spots, the waters stand clear and cold, but this pristine distinction is not to last. Wending its way down towering mountains, through deep canyons and between undulating foothills, the river passes some of the most beautiful country in America, yet by the time it reaches the San Joaquin Delta, nearly 400 miles and 10,000 vertical feet later, it has become little more than a public sewer, a fouled, controlled drain for agricultural and municipal wastewater. While nearly all of America's major rivers have been compromised, few have been so misused as the San Joaquin. In its comparatively brief history it has been dammed, diverted and depleted beyond comprehension. Some see the San Joaquin as a river betrayed. This book is not an academic history; rather, it is the story of a real river its people, its places and its past based on the lives and letters of those who have known it firsthand. More than anything, this book seeks to identify the forces and figures who have shaped, altered and corrupted the course of a once mighty river. So come, step back in time and travel along; there's one of the old river steamers now. Hop onboard and journey up the river. You can reflect on the river's rich and colorful past and visit its backwaters and byways. You'll also have a chance to stop and examine those places where the water barons and power brokers left their mark, as well as the spots where government intervention went awry. And perhaps during the journey you'll gain a bit of insight about the hard choices to be faced if the wise use of this essential resource is to prevail.

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