California Native Plant Society

Vegetation Program

Vegetation Mapping in the Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills

First half of the vegetation map completed in the northern Sierra Foothills

The CNPS Vegetation Program and Aerial Information Systems were contracted to produce a fine-scale vegetation map of the northern Sierra Nevada foothills with funding from the California Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Conservation Board, Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. The complete vegetation map, spanning across more than 2.6 million acres of the foothills from southern Shasta to northern Madera County, is now available.

You can view the vegetation report here, or you can access it from our Reports page; to receive the map or map data electronically, please send a request. You can also view this and other vegetation layers using the Department of Fish and Game’s BIOS Public Data Viewer.  Directions for using this data viewer can be accessed here.

This project has also resulted in a classification and description of the plant communities occurring in the foothills, and a report summarizing thousands of field vegetation surveys.  Supporting databases provide a baseline of information on the plant communities and plant location data within this foothills region, and hundreds of plant specimens collected during surveys are housed at the UC Davis herbarium.

The survey database and vegetation map can now be used to better identify conservation priorities of natural vegetation, evaluate potential impacts of climate change, detect wildfire risks, predict wildlife habitat for key animal species, and many other purposes. Priorities could be placed on identifying locally rare vegetation and regionally extensive vegetation that need further protection to ensure ecosystem connectivity and integrity.

Example applications of the vegetation map

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