State workers working?

It appears that a particularly sensitive species may be responsible for the disappearance of our newspaper from its natural habitat last week.

We thought the satire was evident in our Field Guide to Sacramentans, but for some people the humorous attempt to ridicule their foibles wasn’t over-the-top enough. A few members of the species Bureaucratus minor (State Worker) called to say they were offended by the portrayal, as if the spoofy state worker actually existed.

Then we heard that readers couldn’t find the paper downtown—the racks were cleaned out on Friday. Hmmm. Could the paper be that popular, or were those Bureaucratus’ out gathering paper for their nests? Could they be out working hard on Friday afternoon, just to prove us wrong? Then an anonymous tipster said it was someone opposed to an opinion in the Guest Comment column about stopping support of Israel.

We may never know. We can only go out and replenish the environment with our newspapers and hope the offending species develops a sense of humor, or decency.

There really is a reason to be concerned about the survival of the environment along the Cosumnes River and its floodplain (see River of Return ). Unlike the sprawling nothingness we see around us, the riparian forest along its banks holds valley oak, box elder, willows and cottonwood. Numerous waterfowl and warbler species stop by as they migrate along the Pacific flyway.

But perhaps the most amazing aspect of the river is its ability to flood. It is the only river of its size that pours down into the Central Valley and is not dammed. While somewhat restricted by levees, its environment is thriving due to the efforts to return it to its natural state. Flooding, we found out, is a positive thing.