This historical aerial photography mosaic was used to develop a reconstruction of the historical landscape and prevailing conditions of Napa Valley. The early aerial photography from 1940 and 1942 was one of several data sources used to determine conditions prior to Euro-American modification. A small portion of one image from 1953 was used near St. Helena. The mosaic consists of early black and white aerial photography. 82 photographic prints covering the project area were obtained from the Napa County Resource Conservation District/Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Friends of the Napa River, the Napa County Resource Conservation District, and SFEI have carried out investigations into the historical Napa Valley landscape. This research provides baseline information about local landscape conditions and potential future restoration scenarios on the valley floor.
This collaborative effort culminated in the richly illustrated Napa Historical Ecology Atlas, published by UC Press in 2012.
The Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of the iconic Napa Valley landscape from 200 years ago to the present and future.
Using the pioneering SFEI Historical Ecology approach, the Atlas challenges many preconceived notions about the nature of California landscapes, and suggests strategies to increase the health and resilience of local watersheds based on an understanding of how natural systems function. The Atlas is designed to support a broad range of local efforts for ecological restoration and watershed stewardship in Napa Valley, while providing a new and accessible model for historical ecology studies in other regions.