Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Liberty Island could point to future

Goats walk the banks of Liberty Island. (Daily Republic file 2007)

Goats walk the banks of Liberty Island. (Daily Republic file 2007)

By
From page A1 | December 25, 2012 |

RIO VISTA — Robert Malcolm looked at the swamplands of Liberty Island in eastern Solano County in 1917 and decided to reshape the landscape.

Little did he know that Liberty Island would someday become an example of what Solano County has to both gain and lose in California’s water wars. In the early 1900s, there was no hand-wringing about farming versus wildlife habitat. The idea of draining bogs to dry out fertile soils met with widespread enthusiasm.

Up went some 20 miles of levees. Tules were disced and burned. Liberty Island went from being a wildlife hotbed to a farming hotbed.

The rich soils of the 5,000-acre island grew spinach, broccoli, potatoes, celery, cucumbers, garlic, sunflowers and tomatoes. By 1952, about 300 people lived near the island and the Liberty Farms operation rated its own post office. A ferry linked the island to the Rio Vista area.

Malcolm died in 1951, but farming continued on Liberty Island for decades. No longer. The 1998 storms breached levees and flooded the island, a fairly common occurrence. This time, the owner sold the bulk of the land to become wildlife habitat and Liberty Island stayed flooded.

All of a sudden, Liberty Island’s future looks a lot like its past, before Malcolm came and saw its farming potential. Most of the island is owned by the state Department of Fish and Game and could become a crown jewel in the habitat restoration effort under way in Solano County’s Cache Slough area.

“Liberty Island already supports significant existing wildlife and has outstanding potential for restoration, flood plain management and endangered species recovery,” a 2011 state report said.

Tules and cattails are once again growing on Liberty Island. Part of the island is open water. The Delta smelt, beavers, muskrats and waterfowl are found there, a California Wildlife Foundation report said.

The state Department of Fish and Game is working on a management plan for the proposed Liberty Island Ecological Preserve. A few hundred acres not owned by the agency is being used by Wildlands Inc. as a conservation bank, where developers in other areas can pay to preserve habitat to comply with endangered species laws.

Solano County is wary about seeing more farmland in the Cache Slough area go the way of Liberty Island. Farming is an economic powerhouse for the county – $291.7 million for all crops and commodities, according to the 2011 Solano County Crop and Livestock Report. Farmland also provides property tax for county coffers.

Liberty Island these days shows few signs of its farming past. But its tules and waterways could be a sign of the future for the Cache Slough area of eastern Solano County.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.


Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Steven KaysDecember 25, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Interesting to see how things will turn out. By the way, Happy Holidays to everyone =). Wishing you all the best. Steven Kays

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '<<' (T_SL) in /www/newspaperfoundation.org/html/wp-content/themes/broadsheet/footer.php on line 101