Thursday, June 12, 2008

Looking East, Looking West

The Mad River flows out of the coast range in Trinity County as it wends its way to Humboldt County to the ocean. Here we are standing on the shore looking east toward the coast range.
We turn our gaze west and follow the river as it flows into the Pacific. The Mad River provides drinking water to the Eureka - Arcata communities and other smaller, unincorporated areas.
The water supply suffers from the same problems most watersheds experience: Like many rivers in this area of the state, the watershed's greatest problem is erosion causing excessive sediment buildup in the river and it tributaries. The main causes of the erosion are excessive road building and logging, especially historical logging practices. In addition, the removal of riparian vegetation, which also increases erosion, and urbanization are also causing decreased water quality.
We watched seals come upriver two and three at a time. They headed to their favorite sleeping spot on the seaside of the river mouth. Each one stopped and looked at us as they swam by. It wasn't like they were acknowledging or communing with us as much as checking warily to see if we meant them harm.

Aside from degrading the water and environment, we felt innocent.

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