4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Best of 2001: Best Land Restoration

Campo Band of Mission Indians
36190 Church Road, Campo
619-478-9046

So you thought that when Europeans came to San Diego, they found a pristine wilderness? Wrong. What they discovered, says the Kumeyaays' Mike Connolly, was a huge, loosely manipulated garden. "They didn't know the oak forests were orchards we had planted and cultivated for acorns over thousands of years," says Connolly, a one-time aerospace engineer. "They didn't realize we had encouraged the willows and cottonwoods near streams to hold the water in the earth. That we had regular controlled burns of sagebrush to allow the grasses and trees to come through." Two centuries of disastrous land degradation later, the Campo Kumeyaay have decided enough's enough. At great loss of revenue they have ousted the native grass-killing cattle from their reservation. They have created mishay sha-wing -- "sediment holders" -- dams across streams to slow water flow. They have planted willows and cottonwoods. And year-round babbling brooks have returned. With the water have come birds, ducks, frogs, turtles, rodents, owls, fish, jackrabbits, squirrels, mule deer, and behind them the coyote and bobcats. Someone even saw a mountain lion the other day. Plus, elements of their pre-European diet are returning: wild celery, watercress, stinging nettle (high in iron), and live oaks with their acorns, once the staple of the Kumeyaay diet. "I think we're showing," says Connolly, "that man can actually be beneficial to Nature."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Sushi plus Mexican equals vegan at The Village

Order carefully to get the most out of this dual concept plant based eatery
Next Article

First fright

What possessed him to take a child to see a film with that title?

Campo Band of Mission Indians
36190 Church Road, Campo
619-478-9046

So you thought that when Europeans came to San Diego, they found a pristine wilderness? Wrong. What they discovered, says the Kumeyaays' Mike Connolly, was a huge, loosely manipulated garden. "They didn't know the oak forests were orchards we had planted and cultivated for acorns over thousands of years," says Connolly, a one-time aerospace engineer. "They didn't realize we had encouraged the willows and cottonwoods near streams to hold the water in the earth. That we had regular controlled burns of sagebrush to allow the grasses and trees to come through." Two centuries of disastrous land degradation later, the Campo Kumeyaay have decided enough's enough. At great loss of revenue they have ousted the native grass-killing cattle from their reservation. They have created mishay sha-wing -- "sediment holders" -- dams across streams to slow water flow. They have planted willows and cottonwoods. And year-round babbling brooks have returned. With the water have come birds, ducks, frogs, turtles, rodents, owls, fish, jackrabbits, squirrels, mule deer, and behind them the coyote and bobcats. Someone even saw a mountain lion the other day. Plus, elements of their pre-European diet are returning: wild celery, watercress, stinging nettle (high in iron), and live oaks with their acorns, once the staple of the Kumeyaay diet. "I think we're showing," says Connolly, "that man can actually be beneficial to Nature."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Driving a Pinto like it’s a Porsche

The pinnacle of automotive coolness
Next Article

Ryan Bowers’ posthumous collaboration with Crhymes

“His fingers kept twitching. His sweaty head was a little shaky. His lips were moving, but no words were coming out.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close