The Sespe Wild: Southern California's Last Free River

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by Bradley J. Monsma, 2004.

From the back cover: "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....

In The Sespe Wild, Monsma shares his exploration of this unique and fantasic region. His attention ranges from the physical Sespe, examined on foot or by kayak, to the subsurface geology that shaped 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."

Monsma is a former Board President and longtime supporter of Los Padres ForestWatch.