Charles Nordhoff toured California in the early 1870’s. In a previous post I quoted from his description of Rancho Chico, an establishment which he greatly admired. He also quoted General Bidwell on life at Rancho Chico in the 1850’s.
“General Bidwell, who lives at Chico, above Marysville, told me that fifteen years ago he had seen six grizzly bears lassoed and shot on his place by his men in one day””and it was not a very good day for grizzlies either.”
“So late as 1853 antelope and elk abounded on his pastures; the former, as well as deer, used to graze quietly with his cattle, and venison was a constant dish on his table. Before the gold discovery, trappers used to catch the beaver and otter on the Sacramento and Yuba rivers; but these creatures have, of course, disappeared with the elk.”
What a wealth of wildlife disappeared from California in less than two decades!