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AFTON CANYON

See caption below

(March 1863). This downstream view of the Mojave River was taken at the head of Afton Canyon about a year after the 1862 flood. A wide, scoured channel with little riparian vegetation is present in the foreground, and larger trees of unknown species are in the middle distance. From this distance, it is impossible to determine whether these trees were cottonwoods or Goodding willows (Richard D'Heureuse 1905.16894-A, courtesy of the Bancroft Library).

See caption below
(October 25, 2000). Many changes have occurred in the last 137 years in Afton Canyon, spurred by large floods, cattle grazing, and manipulations of the riparian ecosystem. Changes to the riparian plants include the establishment of non-native tamarisk in the middle part of the 20th century, herbicide treatments to remove the tamarisk in the 1950s, and mechanical removal of tamarisk that began in the 1990s before this photograph was taken. Despite all these changes, riparian vegetation has obviously increased. The plants in the foreground are arrowweed (Tessaria sericea), with a small Goodding willow in the center. Mesquite are also present in the middle distance. At this site, the channel of the Mojave River contains perennial water with reeds and cattails but no open channel (Dominic Oldershaw, Stake 2116).

 

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