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The natural environment of the Shasta, mostly above 2,500 feet, was one of mountains and river valleys rich in flora and fauna:

Mount Shasta from the Shasta Valley
Mount Shasta from the Shasta Valley
© 2001 John Jackson

The Shasta occupied a territory that, viewed against the background of the rest of northeastern California, seems especially provident. Along the rivers of the major valleys salmon, trout, and other fish could be taken, along with freshwater mussels. The higher country yielded hunters a variety of game, including the all-important deer as well as elk and bear, and all zones offered a host of rodents and other small mammals. Birds were also taken.... For most of the Shasta the acorn was the principal plant food, augmented by locally abundant berries, roots, seeds, and pine nuts.(Moratto 435-437)

The Klamath Mountains located in northwest California are an ancient landmass with peaks ranging from 2,000-2,500 meters. Shaped by geologic forces, the Klamath has many streams, which flow into the Klamath-Trinity River system. This environment is rich in both RIVERINE and upland resources.

The Cascade Range, located to the east of the Klamath Mountains, first rises in British Columbia and extends about 240 km into Northern California is drained by the Pit and McCloud Rivers. The highest mountain in this range is Mount Shasta (4317 m). The Cascade Range consists of volcanic peaks, lava rims and outcrops of basalt and obsidian. Both basalt and obsidian were important raw materials used by indigenous peoples in the manufacture of stone tools.


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