Sacramento BEE, Opinion by John Carlon, River Partners – California’s rivers have bestowed many gifts – water, abundant agriculture, transportation, recreation and wildlife – and have shaped our history. But we haven’t always treated our rivers well in return. In the first 150 years of statehood, Californians built thousands of miles of levees that eliminated natural floodplains and reduced Central Valley wetlands by 95 percent. Fortunately over the past 20 years, creative partnerships have worked with nature, restoring floodplains that reduce flood risk and provide new habitat for birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. In a state famous for fighting over water, we’ve learned that restoring rivers and floodplains is good for all Californians. (more)