Creek: A Wild and Scenic River
Yolo County Representative Lois Wolk's AB 1328 was signed into law on
October 6, 2005 31 miles of Cache Creek were added to the state Wild
and Scenic network. The Creek's ecological values were affirmed and
the threat of new dams permanently eliminated, and the Creek
was reserved for hikers, kayakers, rafters, anglers,
and other recreational users, as well as for the wildlife--including
tule elk, bald eagles, and river otters--that live in and around its
waters. This event was a triumph for everyone who cares about
the Creek, the environment of Lake County, and the future of California
-- and especially for everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.
Wild and Scenic status is more limited than the similarly worded federal
designation: it affects no land beyond the creek's banks, establishes
no new access rights, and imposes no new limitations on landowners'
practical considerations are not the only ones that matter: by this
special designation, the creek is confirmed as something more than the
sum of its overtly "useful" parts. A stream has many functions: providing
water for people and for wild and domestic animals, irrigating crops,
offering recreational opportunities, draining off flood waters, perhaps
also generating power or carrying freight. In juggling such utilitarian
considerations, it is easy to forget its other function as the linchpin
of an ecosystem, the vital flow that nourishes a living, breathing,
evolving network of life.
designation also declares to the world at large that the creek is in
a special category. We have something remarkable to share with the wider
world, and by putting it on the map, so to speak, we are announcing
its unique value, and by so doing also increasing its economic value
to Lake County.
it's time to give similar protection to the North Fork.