A Subtle History
Firsttime visitors to Sierra Nation are often shocked at the many lakes in what is known as the Fools’ Rockies district of the nation. Plumas and Sierra counties share what is one the largest Alpine meadows anywhere. It is formed out of an ancient lakebed and provides a treasured home for ranchers and Zat farmers alike.
There are other anomalies and surprises in this remarkable region. Downieville was once the capital of a vast ancient empire founded entirely on the principle of controlling access to California’s granite and other quarries. Like most such enterprises it eventually collapsed under its own weight, but the decade of power which was Sierra’s heyday is still remembered fondly by the locals.
The forces behind the glory are still not completely understood, but some geo-historians have pointed out that this period of unification coincided with a rare lull in seismic activity throughout the state. This in turn created a sense that crude stone and masonry buildings were safe again. The Great Olema Quake was a bitter reminder of the real forces beneath California and soon the people of this Nation had left only their name on the great mountain range: The Sierra.