GRASS VALLEY, Calif. May 24, 2019 – Wolf Creek has flowed here for eons creating the landscape and grassy meadows that lend Grass Valley its name. Originating from springs on Banner Mountain at an elevation of 3,230 feet, the Creek flows through Grass Valley, turns south and joins the Bear River at 995 feet.
Before the rush for gold changed the landscape of the Wolf Creek watershed, its forests were full of pines, cedars and oaks, and native grasses filled the meadows.
There were herds of deer and elk, as well as wolves and bears. The wetlands were home to numerous water fowl. The streams were filled with crayfish, trout and, in the spring and fall, salmon.
The biodiversity and productivity of the Wolf Creek watershed supported large populations of indigenous people who were part of a balanced ecosystem and who thrived here for thousands of years.
The Wolf Creek Community Alliance, in collaboration with California Heritage Indigenous Research Project representing the descendants of the Foothill Nisenan, has installed two interpretive panels in downtown Grass Valley to honor the history and culture of indigenous people who once thrived in the Wolf Creek watershed, and to enlarge the narrative beyond Grass Valley’s gold mining history.
This project was funded by the Schwemm Family Foundation.