Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Epigraph

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Contents

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pp. 9-11

Section 1. The First History: Monday’s Madonna: The L.A. River and the Hopeful Science of Restoration Ecology by Peter Bowler

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pp. 15-16

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Numbers (and Other Facts)

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pp. 17-18

The Los Angeles River is a multi-tributary hydraulic arterial system that embraces a watershed of 2,155 square kilometers and whose drainage resembles a deflating balloon or a strange stomach with a narrowing channel as it approaches the ocean. From its origin at the confluence of Bell Creek and Calabasas Wash in the San Fernando Valley, it descends...

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Water (and Other Fictions)

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pp. 18-23

With a cumulative score of 0.9 GPA, the Los Angeles River consistently gets a resounding F from the Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) in water quality monitoring at 22 sites. A few sites averaged a C, such as Arroyo Seco, but most gauge stations from Owensmouth to Wardlow Road spike straight F’s in test after test. During the dry...

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Lost Links and Empty Aquifers

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pp. 24-28

The connectedness derived from Vannote’s river continuum concept, linking the flow headwater to estuary, is shattered here, replaced instead by a homogeneous and prosthetic artifice that is hostile to most life, rather than the stratigraphic ballet of sorted aquatic insect and fish...

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Backing Up

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pp. 29-32

But this situation is only a paused video frame of the landscape of modern times. Let us respool the tape slightly. Once, there were at least 45 Gabrielino settlements on its banks, and the river flowed to the sea unimpeded by weirs, groins, bunds, or riprap. As a general...

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Grocery Lists and Suckermouths

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pp. 32-39

It is becoming clear by now that the channelization and hardscaping of the river transmogrified it into an aquatic freeway—a cement-lined ditch that stretches like a half-hose, replacing the historic river riparian corridor. Inventories confirm this. From...

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Looking Ahead

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pp. 39-40

Anthropocentric uses of the river are many, ranging from bird watching and other recreational appreciation of the surviving riparian fragments, to video games, films, television programs, and music videos that are in some way connected to the river. Particular note...

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A Baedeker of Bon Mots

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pp. 40-46

“Inspiration is not garnered from litanies of what is flawed; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. Healing the wounds of the Earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party. It...

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Where We Are Now (Is Not Where We Will Be)

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pp. 47-56

“Inspiration is not garnered from litanies of what is flawed; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. Healing the wounds of the Earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party. It...

References and Literature Cited

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pp. 57-60

Section 2. The Second History: Water from Stone by Bruce Bartrug

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pp. 61-62

Downtown

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pp. 63-63

Baum Bridge

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pp. 64-64

Pacific Lamprey

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pp. 65-65

Stilt

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pp. 66-66

Confluence

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pp. 67-67

Ospreys

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pp. 68-69

Fletcher Gate

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pp. 70-71

Green Heron

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pp. 72-74

Section 3. Histories Three to Thirteen: Harder Than Lightby Charles Hood

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pp. 75-76

Mal Sueño

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pp. 77-84

Where to Put Things

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pp. 85-85

Notes for a Haiku Cycle about the City on Fire:

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pp. 86-86

The history of L.A. as told through a time-lapse photograph

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pp. 87-88

Joy Ride (1)

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pp. 89-92

Joy Ride (2)

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pp. 93-96

Bestiary

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pp. 97-109

The Flood of 1914

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pp. 110-116

Chiropterophily

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pp. 117-124

Casitas

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pp. 125-131

The Price of Dogs

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pp. 132-138

About the Author

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pp. 139-140

About the Artist

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pp. 141-144