The Men of Mammoth Forest
By Floyd L. Otter
New, Hardbound, 6th printing, 169 pages
A Hundred-year History of a Sequoia Forest and its people in Tulare County, California written by career Forester, Historian and Naturalist; Floyd Otter.
The story begins with the old tragedy of the Indians who made their last stand at Battle Mountain with bows and arrows against Army guns. Then came the trail blazers, rarely finding passes as low as 10,000 feet through the two major divides between San Joaquin Valley and Owens Lake, and soon thereafter the hopeful toll road builders. Then there came the hogs and cattle, and alas, there came, and passed, the era of indefatigable shepherds.
Unless the reader knows the meaning of a true mountain escarpment rising at the rate of a thousand feet each horizontal mile from the San Joaquin Valley to where the mammoth forest lies, he would not easily appreciate the struggle of the iron-shod bulls and the jangling jerk line freight teams which are so important a part of this story. One of the fantastic tales that are a part of this big tree legend is the falling of one Giant Sequoia by chopping outward from the inside of the tree. Also included are valuable descriptions of unusual logging methods needed to harvest the mighty Giant Sequoias.
The book is arranged in three chronological parts respectively embracing the wilderness, the logging and, finally, the public acceptance of its responsibility for guardianship over this great Sequoia forest. There is a solid reference to source material, some place name origins and a list of memorable dates of droughts, fires, and floods.
A Word to the Reader
I. The Forest—An Introduction
PART ONE. FIRST ATTACKS ON THE WILDERNESS
II. Far Back on the Trail
III. The Yaudanchi Lose Their Homeland
IV. First Discoveries, Trapping, Mining, and Hunting
V. Trails Across the Sierra
VI. Shepherd’s Empire
VII. First Settlers, Sawmills, Roads
VIII. An Old Stump and Two Caves
PART TWO. NOW WE’RE LOGGIN’
IX. A Word to the Wise
X. The Trees Come Down
XI. The Sawmills
XII. Mountain Retreats for the San Joaquin
XIII. Moves Toward Forest Conservation
PART THREE. THE PUBLIC ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY
XIV. Uncle Sam’s Foresters
XV. Balch Park
XVI. The State Joins In
XVII. To Sit …. To Muse …. To Slowly Trace
APPENDIX A. ORIGIN OF PLACE NAMES
APPENDIX B. MEMORABLE DATES
INDEX OF PEOPLE AND PLACES