Daniel Polk, an anthropologist now based at Stanford’s Lane Center has an interesting post looking at the question of our perceptions of the Salton Sea – natural or not?
The lake demonstrates that the “natural” is a fluid and not fixed term. Proponents of the Salton Sea often emphasize the natural qualities of the lake. If the lake is unnatural, then its decline can be more readily accepted by the public, yet if it is a natural place, then its restoration becomes a more urgent imperative, less easy to ignore for those in power.
i think its better to say that the lake and the dried up basin are both natural. In the past the Colorado flowed in the basin before tectonic changes, there was a lake, it dried up until the colorado flowed into it years and years later. So the question is what is the time frame for natural, a human life, 10,000 or 100,000 years or what?