A Map of California’s Forests Reimagined

Everywhere across California, there are forests. Forests of all variety: across the oak-dotted Great Valley, along the Rugged Coast, and even of course across the High Sierra where there is no soil at all but the compact remains of ancient forests carpeting the granite peaks, themselves having somehow figured out how to grow in extreme austerity. Forest Cell hand final editI’ve composed a naming system for the forest cells of California. A forest is defined here as the sum components of all biotic and abiotic resources in any number of assembled ecosystems across a given region. A cell is a grouping of forests across a large, named landscape irrespective of but surely influenced by watersheds, mountain ranges, elevations, and plant systems. The forest cells presented here are a short cut to identifying the character of a wild place, including climatography and intact habitat with special deference to wildlife endemism. Endemism occurs in isolation and isolation is the engine of diversity and speciation. This Forest Cell Type naming system is a 21st century tool to document the woodland profile of wild places that are increasing stressed by ever encroaching human activity. The vision of nurturing and maintaining viable bridges and reducing debilitating ecotones between the cells is key to the emergingly popular Rewilding ethos. The naming convention is (most of the time) two-part: the first being an exemplary single instance of the Forest Cell apotheosis, and the second being the larger region defining the reach of the cell or the predominant plant-type found.

Forest Cell 001

01. Waukell Creek Siskiyou
02. Miracle Mile Klamath Knot
03. Prairie Creek Coastal Redwood
04. Ycatapom Trinity Glaciation
05. Cantata Ney Shasta
06. Tule Lake Modoc Plateau
07. Warner Range Alpine
08. Chanchelulla Slope
09. Lost Coast Mixed
10. Six Rivers Backcountry
11. Yolla Bolly Shelf
12. Battle Creek North Valley
13. Lassen Volcanic
14. Madeline Basin
15. Plumas North Sierra
16. Ishi Acorn Forest
17. Tuleyome Chaparral
18. Mendocino Coastal Cypress
19. Sonoma Mountain Shrub
20. Cache Creek Gray Pine
21. Bear Creek Lowland
22. Yuba Cedar
23. Sierra Valley Grassland
24. North Bay Fire Forest
25. Solano Wetland
26. Sutter Buttes Drainage
27. El Dorado Foothills
28. Placer Ponderosa
29. Tahoe Basin
30. Montara Ridge
31. Alhambra Oak
32. The Delta Reaches
33. Chawse Oak
34. Mokelumne Sierra
35. Walker Washes
36. Tuolumne High Sierra
37. Low Yosemite Glacier
38. Yokut Confluences
39. Santa Clara Highlands
40. Big Basin Redwoods
41. Monterey Coast
42. Gabilan Condor Forests
43. Fresno Beefields
44. Minarets Wilderness
45. Mono Basin
46. Esalen Cone Complex
47. Salinas Valley
48. Pacheco Juniper
49. White Mountain Old Pines
50. Muir’s High Sierra
51. Kaweah Staircase
52. Tulare Sink
53. Atascadero Country
54. Santa Maria Coast
55. Carrizo Soda Shrub
56. Sisquoc Valley
57. Chumash Peninsula
58. Kern Canyon
59. Santa Ynez Ridge
60. Sespe Drylands
61. Santa Monica Wilds
62. Iwihinmu Evergreen
63. Tehachapi Chaparral
64. Owens Basin
65. Panamint Range
66. Armagosa Watershed
67. Inyo Barrens
68. Kingston Peaks
69. Avawatz Salt
70. Antelope Valley Slope
71. Los Angeles Basin
72. San Gabriel Highland
73. Riverside Upland
74. San Gorgonio Crest
75. Bristol Mojave
76. New York Woodlands
77. Piute Dry Lands
78. Chemhueve Colorado
79. Joshua Rock
80. Santa Ana Rise
81. San Jacinto Vestige Peak Forests
82. San Mateo Canyon Lands
83. Pendleton Coast Scrub
84. Santa Rosa Sage Forest
85. Palomar Cloud Forest
86. Torrey Coast Pine
87. Otay Washes
88. Pine Creek Conifer Desert
89. Anza Low Desert
90. Salton Basin
91. Chocolate Barrens
92. Turtle Mountain Desert
93. Whipple Mojave
94. Big Maria Wilds
95. Kofa Refuge
96. Imperial Valley Lowlands