Identity, Culture, and Politics in the Basque Diaspora

Identity, Culture, and Politics in the Basque Diaspora

eBook - 2004
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Blackwell North Amer
Sespe Creek, the last undammed river in Southern California, flows through some of the wildest territory in the state to its mouth less than fifty miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. A mostly roadless expanse of chaparral and mixed forest, in many places nearly inaccessible even on foot, the Sespe is the untamed heart of Southern California, a wilderness on the edge of one of the world's major metropolitan centers. To nature writer and outdoorsman Bradley John Monsma, the Sespe is both a place of escape and the place "that teaches me to be fully alive," a survivor that reminds us of what we've lost and inspires us to love what's left.
In The Sespe Wild, Monsma shares his exploration of this unique and fantastic region. His attention ranges from the physical Sespe, examined on foot or by kayak, to the subsurface geology that shaped it, the Chumash people who first occupied it, and the impact of Spanish and then American settlers. He also considers the Sespe through the eyes of some of its nonhuman populations - the nearly extinct condors, the vanished grizzlies, the mountain sheep, the threatened steelhead trout, the red-legged frogs. Through the metaphor of the river, he ponders the tensions between preservation and management of wildlife and wilderness, the ecology of fire, the connections between species, and the almost miraculous ways that the Sespe has escaped the fate of other Southern California streams, dammed or carved up into canals by development. "To consider this place," Monsma says, "is to call up issues crucial wherever wilderness and cities meet: recreational impacts on wildlife habitat, the dynamics of accessibility and protection, the physical and psychological need for healthy ecosystems, threats of development and resource extraction." Monsma's meditation on one of California's last best places combines written history with attentive observations on the natural world, the symbolic and spiritual levels of human experience with the land, and the power of the land's ongoing creation and renewal.

Publisher: Reno : University of Nevada Press, ©2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780874175752
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xix, 273 pages) : illustrations, maps


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