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California Environment Information Sources

Environmental History

  • California Lands: Ownership, Use and Management (Dana and Krueger) 1958 (HD 211 C2 D3) Covers evolution of land ownership in California through the patterns and problems of land ownership reflected in the mid 1950's.
  • California Rural Land Use and Management: a History of the Use and Occupancy of Rural Lands in California (Brown and Show) 1944 (not available in the HSU Library) History of California rural land use prepared by the US Forest Service from the earliest recorded Native American uses through 1944, along with predictions of the future as seen from that time period.
  • Land in California: the Story of Mission Lands, Ranchos, Squattors, Mining Claims, Railroad Grants, Land Script, Homestreads (Robinson) 1948 (HD 211 C2 R6) Story of how California's public and private lands came into the "hands of its present owners".
  • 150 Years of Land Use: a Brief History of Land Use Regulation (California Sesquicentennial 1850-2000) (Longtin) 1999 (print copy available in KFC 811 L655 1999)
  • Reports of the Surveyors-General (California State Lands Commission) Biographies and annual reports of the California Surveyor-General from 1851 to 1929 when the office was abolished. The Surveyor-General was responsible for conducting surveys of state and county boundaries and more than 8 million acres of state lands received from the federal government.
  • State Parks of California from 1864 to the Present (Engbeck) 1980 (SB 482 C2 E53) Illustrated interpretive history of the California State Park System and the movement the created it. It is an outgrowth of the system's 50th anniversary celebration in 1977.

Data Compilations

  • California Federal Land Records (CaGenWeb Archives) For each county contains an alphabetical list of deeds (primarily patents) issued between 1856 and 1995 by the General Land Office and its successor agency, the Bureau of Land Management. The California Land Patents Database contains the following information for each land transaction: date, location (township, range, section, meridian), name of person the land was patented to, case type, conveyance type, county, case number and the patent document identification number. In addition, General Land Office Records: the Official Federal Land Patent Records Site (Bureau of Land Mangement) allows for seaching by legal description and other parameters.
  • California Automated Land Records (US Bureau of Land Management California Office) Database containing scanned images of 30,000 Master Title Plats (MTPs), Oil and Gas Plats, Leasable Resources Plat, and Historical Index (HI) pages that document acquired lands and Mineral Locations and Contests in California. The 2,587 townships with corresponding MTPs are searchable by meridian, township, and range.
  • National Resources Inventory (NRI) - California (US Natural Resources Conservation Service) Scientifically based statistical survey of the nation’s natural resources that provides updated information on the status, condition, and trends of land, soil, water, and related resources on non-Federal land.

Guides and Bibliographies

  • California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) (California Natural Resources Agency) Portal to California land use and environmental planning information including county general plans, environmental assessment documents, and relate information. LUPIN seeks to facilitate better informed decisions about land use, resource conservation, and ecosystem management. Retreive information by geographic area, data type, topic or organization.

General Introductions

  • California Lands: Ownership, Use and Management (Dana and Krueger) 1958 (HD 211 C2 D3) Covers evolution of land ownership in California through the patterns and problems of land ownership reflected in the mid 1950's.
  • Know California's Land: a Land-Capability Guide for Soil and Water Conservation (Wohletz and Dolder) 1952 (Cal Doc N200 L3) First report and map that classifies California lands according to its capabilities for cultivation. Also summarizes the physical conditions and soil and water conservation needs in the 8 major watershed units that subdivide the state.
  • Land Cover Trends (US Geological Survey) 2012. Reports on the status and trends of the land use and land cover, providing an assessment of the rates and causes of land-use and land-cover change between 1973 and 2000. California ecoregions covered include the Coast Range, Sierra Nevada, California Chaparral and Oak Woodlands, Central California Valley, Southern California Mountains, Mojave Basin and Range and Klamath Mountains.
  • Land in California: the Story of Mission Lands, Ranchos, Squattors, Mining Claims, Railroad Grants, Land Script, Homestreads (Robinson) 1948 (HD 211 C2 R6) Story of how California's public and private lands came into the "hands of its present owners".

CA - Land Use and Ownership Maps

Public Ownership Map

  • C-CAP Land Cover Atlas (US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Coastal Services Center) Online data viewer provides access to regional land cover and land cover change information for coastal California developed through NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). Earliest imagery dates from 1996.
  • California Federal Public Lands Responsibility Map (US Bureau of Land Management) 1978 (map G 4361 G5 1978 U51; also Docs I 53.11:C12/4) 1:750,000 scale map showing federal, state, and private land ownership in California. For 1:100,000 scale mapping of land ownership in California, see the Surface Management Status series (map G 3701 G5 3100 U5) and the California map index.
  • California Protected Areas Database (CPAD) Interactive Map Maps lands held in fee ownership by public agencies and non-profits ranging from national forests to very small urban parks. Federal, state, county, city, special district and non-governmental agency holdings are included.
  • California Rivers Assessment (CARA) (International Center for the Environment and California Resources Agency) For each of the 120 river basins in California five maps are available: hydrologic, vegetation, shaded relief, land ownership, and a 1:24,000 quad grid. Other nongraphic watershed statistics and information are also available. IceMaps2 provides interactive mapping capability.
  • California Wildland-Urban Interface Maps, Statistics, and GIS Data Download (University of Wisconsin--Madison Silvics Lab) Includes maps on housing density and the wildlife-urban interface using 2000 census block information, along with associated data and gis files.
  • Comprehensive Ocean Area Plan General Inventory (California Department of Navigation and Ocean Development) 1971 (Cal Doc N 540 C6p Pt.1 & Pt.2 folio) First major inventory of California's coastal zone prepared in support of the Comprehensive Ocean Area Plan. Two series, each with 127 maps at a scale of 1"=2,000 ft., map and classify California's coastal zone. Part 1: "Land Use/Site Characteristic Inventory" categorizes developed areas into 66 categories and undeveloped areas into 25 categories. Part II: "Land Ownership Inventory" delineates 30 categories of land ownership.
  • Land Ownership (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire and Resource Assessment Program)
  • Management Landscape (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire and Resource Assessment Program) Statewide map at a scale of 1:1 million classifies lands into eight predominant land uses.
  • National Wetlands Inventory (US Fish & Wildlife Service) (microfiche copies in Docs I 49.6/7-12) Series of maps at scales of 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 for the United States which classify wetlands into 55 different classes using the Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin) 1979 (print copy available in Docs I e49.89:79/31). National Wetlands Inventory Maps lists maps available for each state, including California. For additional information see Wetland Mapping and Inventory (US Geological Survey). Wetlands Mapper (US Fish & Wildlife Service) is an interactive mapper that allows one to view National Wetlands Inventory digital data as well as stream and road data. You can also view wetlands digital data using Google Earth and ArcGIS.
  • Historical Progression of Development (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire and Resource Assessment Program) 2000. Statewide map at a scale of 1:1 million that shows the historical progression of urban and suburban development by decade.
  • Public Ownership (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire and Resource Assessment Program) 2000. Statewide map at a scale of 1:1 million has shows public land ownership by agency.
  • Regional Urbanization Maps (California Department of Conservation) Series of maps that depict land that has become urban since 1984 along with current "important farmland" data.  Maps cover Sacramento area, San Francisco Bay region, and the San Joaquin Valley. For additional information see Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program.