Willamete Valley Essay

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Agriculture did not occur in the Pacific Northwest because much of its environment was “flanked east and west by the coniferous forests of the Cascades and Coast Range” (Aikens 183). These coniferous forests allowed for vast water system that eventually joined “the Willamette River on its course northward to the Columbia below” (Aikens 183); and resulted in a “gallery forests of deciduous and evergreen trees followed the watercourse, and much of the valley floor was in open grassland with scattered oak groves” (Boyd 67). The coniferous forests and evergreen grasslands for the Pacific Northwest prevented traditional agricultural practices by indigenous settlers, and gave rise to the subsistence “economic pattern of mobile hunting, fishing,…show more content…
The root harvest served as a gathering technique that was facilitated by the abundances of camas lilies, “or more specifically their bulbs, that were a key staple to the people of the Willamette Valley. Using simple digging sticks, they would dig out a large quantity of these bulbs, collect them to gather, and bury them in what is known as a camas oven. After letting these slowly bake in the earth, they would dig them up and pound them into cakes” (Jew 4). The vast grasslands and evergreen fields of the Willamette Valley also provided the peoples of the Oregon coast with “edible seeds, bulbs, and acorns in great quantity” (Aikens 188). These edible seeds, bulbs, and acorns were made available by the “bottomland plant communities along the valley’s streams, that contained other species which also produced edible or otherwise usable parts” (Aikens 188). The vast majority of these “edible or otherwise usable parts” was facilitated by the presence of native Oregon coast forest trees such as the “hazelnut, Oregon grape, salmonberry, elderberry, and ninebark” (Aikens 188); and their abundance promoted the peoples of the Willamette Valley to turn to the subsistence agricultural practice of “slash/burn to make the habitat more conducive to elk, deer, camas, tarweed, and
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