Yuma is often thought of as a hot, dry desert town in southwestern Arizona, but for the area residents - and the United States as a whole, it is the land of plenty. During the winter months, nearly all the leafy vegetables Americans eat are grown in the fertile fields which lie at the literal end of the Colorado River. For the people who work the fields, the Colorado River represents not only the source of their livelihood, but a deep, spiritual connection to this arid landscape as well. Leche y Miel (Milk & Honey) provides a short, beautiful glimpse into the area's Latino community and their connection to the strained Colorado River.
Premieres January 2016 at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California; then off to more than 140 cities on the Wild & Scenic worldwide tour.
The Red Flat Nickel Corporation has applied to drill test 59 locations over 4000 acres on the pristine North Fork of the Smith River. This would pave the way for one of the largest nickel mines in the Western United States. The EPA (Environmental Protection Act) considers hard-rock mining one of the most toxic polluters in the U.S.
Keith Brauneis Productions and CalTrout created a short film about California’s Smith River that will raise awareness of this Wild and Scenic river, its steelhead, its history and its current plight. We will examine current conditions and discuss future threats.
The remarkable river with a common name, California's Smith River draws anglers from far away for a chance at its wild salmon and steelhead. Geology and location result in a unique river, draining from the Siskiyou Mountains and the Coast Range. While elsewhere, Northern California's Coast range represents the Franciscan Formation, primarily sandstone, here it more closely aligns with the geology of the Klamath Mountains. Ultramafic rock appears as the oceanic crust collides with the continental crust, resulting in the surface appearance of ancient oceanic serpentine rock.
Steep canyons, combined with heavy rainfall (in some areas, over 200 inches per year), scour these bedrock gorges. The river rises fast, yet recedes just as quickly. Very little sediment is carried by the Smith, resulting in the remarkable jade green and sapphire blues of water so clear, you might be inclined to jump off the drift boat and wade to shore. As one nameless person on our trip discovered, the Big Gulp is a simple step away.
The Smith River has become a poster-child for how, with forward thinking and by dint of hard work, an entire watershed can be protected. Here there are no dams, no wretched clear-cut blocks, no mitigating hatcheries. Instead, ancient forest, including iconic redwood, cloak canyon walls.
The fishery, as a result, is remarkable. Salmon over 60 lbs, and the state record for steelhead, over 27 lbs. Species genetically adapted to heavy fast water, featuring massive caudal fins, or as expert angler Dustin Revel calls their tails, 'giant paddles.' These fish will make you feel under gunned even with a stout rod.