Could a New River City Transform California?

Along the San Joaquin, Madera County Is Building Thousands of New Homes—and Perhaps Shaping the State's Next Great Region

Could the San Joaquin River, long a dividing line in the heart of California, unite the state in pursuit of a more metropolitan future for the Central Valley?

Whether that happens will be determined in Madera County, on the north side of the river from Fresno. There, a new city, consisting of multiple large planned communities, is finally under construction after decades of planning and litigation.

The city has no name and incorporation could be decades away. But within a generation, its population could grow to more than 100,000 people; by …

Where Do Tumbleweeds Come From?

The Plants We Think Epitomize the Untamed West Are Actually Foreign Invaders

Kevin de León, the new leader of the California State Senate, recently caused a stir when he said that it would be a bad idea to begin building a proposed …

If California Cows Could Talk

Much Like Their Human Counterparts, Cows Around the State Are Being Asked to Do More With Less

I am a California dairy cow. Mmmm—oo.

Surprised to hear from me? In normal times, I wouldn’t be inclined to cooperate with the anthropomorphic scheme of a writer desperate for a …

All California’s Problems Lead to the San Joaquin Valley

From Water Shortages to High-Speed Rail, the State’s Most Overlooked Region Is at the Center of Its Most Important Debates

It’s not clear if Governor Jerry Brown and his challenger Neel Kashkari will debate each other this fall. But if they do, there should be no doubt about the proper …

Can California’s San Joaquin Valley Conquer Urban Sprawl?

A Law Demanding Long-Term Planning Will Only Work If Communities Change How They See Growth

I studied to become a civil engineer with the goal of building grand things, like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and interstate freeways. Thanks to two inspiring professors, …

Why California’s Trails Are Disappearing From Our Maps

The Sierra Once Provided Refuge for the Central Valley; Now, Access to These Forests Is Being Threatened

One of the great things about living in California’s Central Valley is the easy access to one of the great mountain ranges of the world, the Sierra Nevada, and its …