How has California's landscape changed? What did now-familiar places look like during prior centuries? What can the past teach us about designing future landscapes? "The Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas" explores these questions by taking readers on a dazzling visual tour of Napa Valley from the early 1800s onward - a forgotten land of brilliant wildflower fields, lush wetlands, and grand oak savannas. Robin Grossinger weaves together rarely-seen historical maps, travelers' accounts, photographs, and paintings to reconstruct early Napa Valley and document its physical transformation over the past two centuries. The Atlas provides a fascinating new perspective on this iconic landscape, showing the natural heritage that has enabled the agricultural success of the region today. The innovative research of Grossinger and his historical ecology team allows us to visualize the past in unprecedented detail, improving our understanding of the living landscapes we inhabit and suggesting strategies to increase their health and resilience in the future.
Acknowledgments Preface 1 EXPLORING THE NAPA VALLEY THROUGH TIME Geography, Geology, Climate * A Brief History * A Map of the Napa Valley in the Early 1800s 2 OAK SAVANNAS AND WILDFLOWER FIELDS Mapping the Oak Lands * Scattering Oaks * Burning the Valley * Savanna Composition * A World of Wildflowers * Valley Oaks and People * Oak Trajectories * Re-Oaking the Valley 3 CREEKS Spreading Streams * The High Water Table Problem * Plumbing the Valley * Riparian Loss and Recovery * Undercut Trees and Channel Incision * Braided Channels * Summer Water 4 VALLEY WETLANDS Valley Freshwater Marsh * Wet Meadows * Vernal Pool Complexes * Alkali Meadows * Wetland Fragmentation and Resilience 5 NAPA RIVER The River Spread into Wetlands * Islands and Sloughs * The Valley in Flood * Has the River Been Straightened? * How Deep Was the River? * Disappearing Gravel Bars * Did the River Flow Year-Round? * Riparian Forest Width * Narrowing of the Riparian Corridor * Beavers and Snags * Jepson's Napa River * Glimpses of the Tidal River Corridor * Fish Assemblages * Patterns of River and Valley * The River Responds 6 TIDAL MARSHLANDS Kerr's Map * The Tule Lands * Dredging the Tidal River * Reclamation and Restoration * Marsh Chronologies * The Edge 7 LANDSCAPE TRANSFORMATION AND RESILIENCE Using Historical Ecology * Resilient Landscapes * Redesigning the Valley 8 LANDSCAPE TOURS South of Napa: Vallejo, American Canyon, Carneros * Lower Valley: Napa, Oak Knoll, Yountville * Mid-Valley: Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena * Upper Valley: Larkmead, Calistoga Common and Scientific Names of Species Notes Bibliography Index