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Owens Valley

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Owens Valley is a valley in Southeast California.

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Return of a River
In 1913 the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power diverted the Owens River into the Los Angeles aqueduct, causing it to run dry and transforming much of the Owens Valley into a desert. Additionally, by 1924 Owens Lake had disappeared, and by 1928 LA owned ninety percent of the water rights in the valley. However, due to a 1997 lawsuit, LA was required to restore the river in what was the largest river restoration ever undertaken in the US. Starting in 2006, a sixty-two mile stretch of river is again flowing and the valley is beginning an impressive comeback. LA retains rights to pump water from downstream, and thus this project has not significantly impacted the city's water supply.


Much of the recent history of the Owens Valley involves the "theft" of its water supply by Metropolitan Los Angeles. This story is explained in Marc Reisner's book, Cadillac Desert and includes William Mulholland, the Los Angeles Times, and other sordid characters.

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  • Gus's REALLY GOOD Fresh Jerky, 580 South Highway 395, Olancha, CA 93549, Phone: +1 760-764-2822, [1]. Open every day from 8am to 7pm (8am to 8pm in the Summer). A converted gas station, it's advertised all along Highway 395 as selling "World Famous Jerky" — including beef, elk, turkey, and other dried meat products. Their selection of honeys, dried fruits, nuts, and olives is also quite impressive.

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