National Geographic : 1993 Jul
in the foothill streams of the Central Valley. "I'm out there on behalf of the trollers," he told me, "talking to the valley people and get ting them to work together. I explain that I am a food producer too, just like them, but I'm out of business this season because of what they're doing with their water. "If that doesn't work [Nat tempered his words with a touch of irony], I remind them about the Endangered Species Act, and that some unique stocks of salmon are getting wiped out in their streams, and that their water use could get cut off. Usually then we get on fine. "It's beginning to turn around," he said. "The salmon counts are rising; the spawning beds are improving. Things look promising, even though we've still got those problems with the big lumber companies." I WAS HEADING toward lumber country as I made my way north toward the town of Eureka on Humboldt Bay. Whales were spouting in the heaving gray ocean, and the surf, whipped by chill winds, tore at black cliffs and coves. Brief shafts of sun gilded the bright scythes of sea shore, and the grace notes of gulls echoed in the spume haze. Abruptly, the road left the coast just north of Rockport and wended upward through thickly forested valleys deep into the Redwood Empire. I was among the mighty 300-foot-high, A winter hayride is all work for ranch hands David Flournoy andRick Littler, packingfeed in Modoc County. Down in Red Bluff, heart of the state's cattle country, the Bull and Gelding Sale attractscow pokes (below)from across the West. The Stetsons may not have changed in the show's 52 years, but other things have. Says manager Tyler Martinez, "This year one auction bidder was getting instruc tionsfrom his boss on a cellularphone. That's the first time I've seen that."