From – Racing and snaking down remote canyons lined with pine trees and jagged granite, a long-underappreciated yet critical Sierra Nevada river hurries to the valley floor. For centuries the river’s mirror-like flows teemed with Chinook salmon and its shores hosted vibrant Native American trading markets and seasonal camps. Tucked away near stretches called Devil’s Nose and Tiger Creek, grinding stones, mortar rocks and other Indian artifacts offer subtle reminders of the past. The once free-flowing river was transformed in the 1800s, thanks to a global thirst for gold, timber and electricity. Opportunistic farmers, water suppliers and utilities replaced the Gold Rushers, staking new claims to the river torrents. (more)