National Geographic : 1976 Jul
week? The name of the place is Chinquapin - a Washo Indian word for a Sierra shrub. Are there any Washos left? I meet some, across a mountain in Nevada. In her modest living room, a 70-year-old lady remembers summers on the lake with her grandfather who fished, with Washo families camped there. Does she think of Tahoe as Indian land? "Why shouldn't I think so?" she says. "We were there before the whites. We never got paid for it, they just took it away." Now I'm home, writing it all down. My wife says, "You sure put a lot of stress on money." I tell her I have to; it's so important in determining what's done with our land. To be sure, the notion has been gaining ground that land is not just a commodity, to be bought and sold for maximum profit, but a limited national resource to be treated with respect; that we need a land ethic. Perhaps this will become the majority's view, embod ied in law. So far it hasn't. society. Yet only a short hike from here lie two million acres of wild magnificence that still beckon solitude-seeking visitors to the nation's largest national park.