The California Field Atlas has won the 2018 Gold Medal for Notable Contribution to Publishing by the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. I am so proud and grateful to receive and share this award with my excellent publisher, HEYDAY BOOKS. My great hope is that this book stands with the larger vanguard of inspired voices rising across California and beyond, that share a vision for an emergent culture built on values of ecological restoration over reclamation and resource replenishment over endless extraction. United, we can usher in a new age of greater abundance while preserving the superlative portfolio of biodiversity that California enjoys for generations to come. (obi)


I will be part of two events in Southern California this month. With a few hundred paintings tucked under my arm, I will be marching off to Eagle Rock for the Second Hand Revival in Eagle Rock on February 11th, and I will be in Joshua Tree for a show of my paintings and the American premier of the COYOTETHUNDER x INDIGOFERA collaboration: “The California Hiking Series” of apparel. Details Below




The Great Oak Gardens of California

07.23 Oak 001

California’s major oaks (genus Quercus)

Valley Oak (Q. lobata) VO

Black Oak (Q. kelloggii) BO

Blue Oak (Q. douglassii) BlO

Oregon Oak (Q. garryana) OO

Coast Live Oak (Q. agrifolia) CLO

Interior Live Oak (Q. wislizenii) ILO

Canyon Oak (Q. chrysolepis) CO

Island Oak (Q. tomentella) IO

Scrub Oak (SO)


List of oak forests and the type of Oaks exhibited


  1. Richardson Grove State Park (OO, CO, BO)
  2. Schoolhouse Peak, Redwood Nat’l Park (OO, CO, BO)
  3. Mad Ridge, Oak Grove Campground (OO, CO)
  4. Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity Nat’l Rec Area (VO, BO)
  5. Sacramento River Canyon, Shasta Valley (BO)
  6. McArthur-Burney-Falls Memorial State Park (BO, OO)
  7. Tower House (VO)
  8. Hat Creek Rim (BlO)
  9. Quail Spring (BO)
  10. Finely Butte, Lassen Nat’l Forest (BlO)
  11. Dye Creek Preserve, Nature Conservancy, (BlO)
  12. Genesee Valley (BO, ILO)
  13. Bidwell Park, Chico (VO)
  14. Highway 49, Independence Trail, South Yuba (CO, BO)
  15. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (BlO)
  16. Cosumnes River Preserve (VO)
  17. Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park (VO,CO,BO)
  18. Twain Harte (ILO, CO, BO)
  19. Yosemite Valley (BO)
  20. Merced River Canyon (CO)
  21. Bass Lake, near Oakhurst (BlO, BO, VO)
  22. Squaw Leap, San Joaquin River Gorge (BlO)
  23. Middle Fork Kaweah River (BlO, ILO, CO, BO, VO)
  24. Kaweah River Reserve (BlO, CO, ILO)
  25. Kaweah Oak Preserve (VO)
  26. California Hot Springs, Sequoia Nat’l Forest (BlO, ILO, BO, CO)
  27. Mooney Grove Park, Visalia (VO)
  28. Baxton Flats/Seven Oaks, Barton Flats Rec Area (BO, CO)
  29. Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, (CLO)
  30. Cuyamaca Ranco State Park (CO)
  31. Palomar Mountain State Park (CO)
  32. Wilderness Gardens Preserve (CLO)
  33. Los Peñasquitos Canyon (CLO, SO)
  34. Crystal Cove State Park (CLO, SO)
  35. Charlton Flats (CO)
  36. Leo Carrillo State Beach (CLO)
  37. Santa Cruz Island (IO, CLO, CO)
  38. Point Mugu State Park (CLO)
  39. Toro Canyon Park (CLO, SO)
  40. Nojogui Falls Park (CLO)
  41. Figueroa Mountain (VO, SO, CLO, CO)
  42. Lake Osos Oaks State Reserve (CLO)
  43. Santa Margarita (LO)
  44. Pfeifer Big Sur State Park (CLO)
  45. Pinnacles National Park (CLO, VO, BlO)
  46. Toro Regional Park (CLO, VO, ILO)
  47. Elkhorn Slough Reserve (CLO)
  48. Caswell Memorial State Park (VO)
  49. Oak Grove Regional Park (VO)
  50. Henry W. Coe State Park (VO, BO, BlO, CLO, CO,ILO)
  51. Castle Rock State Park (CLO, BO)
  52. Ohlone Regional Wilderness (BlO, CLO)
  53. Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco
  54. Mount Diablo State Park (CLO, ILO, CO, BlO, VO)
  55. Oakwood Valley Trail (CLO)
  56. UC Davis Arboretum
  57. Woodsen Bridge State Recreation Area (VO)
  58. Sugarloaf State Park (CO, VO, BO, BlO, CLO, ILO, SO)
  59. Hopland Field Station (ILO, VO)
  60. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park (BlO)
  61. Westwood Hills (VO, CLO)
  62. Northern California Coast Range Preserve (CO, OO, BO, ILO)
  63. Cache Creek (BlO)
  64. Plaskett Recreation Area (BlO, VO, OO, CO)
  65. William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park (VO)
  66. American River Parkway (VO)



A New Ecological Map of California

A Prismagraphic Map of the 21st century ecological zones of California with designations selected by climate, topography, and biota.

Ecological Map of California

  1. Warner Mountain Nevada Modoc Range
  2. Southern Big Valley Modoc Forest Highland
  3. Madelaine Plains Nevada Basin
  4. Eagle Lake Lassen Montane
  5. Sutter Buttes Islands
  6. Sierra Buttes Lakes Basin
  7. Yuba Cedar Ridges and Valleys
  8. Napa River Valley
  9. Sierra Valley
  10. Tahoe Basin
  11. Gold Highway Oaklands
  12. Sunol Creeklands
  13. Sugar Pine Belt
  14. Gray Pine Chaparral Transition
  15. Walker River Valley
  16. Alpine High Sierra
  17. Mono Basin and Range
  18. Foxtail Pine Belt
  19. White Mountain Bristlecone
  20. Owens Valley Lowland
  21. Whitney Crest
  22. Sequoia Western Rise
  23. Saline Cottonwood Tangle
  24. Funeral Mountains Ash Meadows
  25. Amargosa Canyon Dumont Dunes
  26. Kingston Range Wilderness
  27. China Lake Avawatz
  28. Clark Mountain Stateline Wilderness
  29. Cholla Gardens Wilderness
  30. New York & Castle Mountains
  31. Granite & Providence Mountains
  32. Cholla Gardens Wilderness
  33. Amboy Cadiz Valley
  34. Chemehuevi Mountains
  35. Cima Dome Forests
  36. 29 Palms Sheephole Mountains
  37. Big Maria Mountains
  38. Pinto Basin Desert Network
  39. Yuma Basin
  40. Algodones Dunes
  41. Imperial Valley
  42. Yucca Valley Highland
  43. Little San Bernadino Mountains
  44. West Salton Alluvial Slope
  45. Coachella Valley
  46. Anza Borrego Rise
  47. San Jacinto Cactus to Clouds
  48. Santa Rosa and Cleveland High Forests
  49. Hollenbeck Canyons
  50. San Jacinto Badlands
  51. San Clemente Bluffs
  52. Santa Ana Mountains
  53. Apple Valley South Mojave
  54. San Bernadino Mountains
  55. Inland Empire
  56. Los Angeles Coast
  57. Irwin Barstow Mojave
  58. Magic Mountain Wilderness
  59. Santa Monica Topanga Mountains
  60. Sespe Sycamore Piñon Complex
  61. Santa Clara River Mouth
  62. Tejon Grapevine Chaparral
  63. Gaviota Purple Sage Coast
  64. Pinos Moutains inland Pine Complex
  65. Vandenberg Grasslands
  66. Sisquoc San Rafael Ranges
  67. Antelope Valley West Mojave
  68. Maricopa Oil Desert
  69. Carrizo Plain
  70. Ridgecrest Randsburg Passes
  71. Tehachapi Pass
  72. Salinas Valley
  73. Big Sur Coastal Steppe
  74. Santa Lucia Coastal Mountains
  75. Lake Isabell Sierra Terminus
  76. Red Rock Badlands
  77. San Joaquin River Confluences
  78. Santa Clara Coyote Creek Valleys
  79. Big Basin Santa Cruz Forests
  80. Inland Diablo Mountains
  81. San Francisco Peninsula Fog Coast
  82. Point Reyes Coastal Prairie Headlands
  83. San Francisco Bay Mediterranean
  84. San Pablo Wetlands
  85. Navarro Coast Redwood Forests
  86. Russian River Riparian
  87. Clear Lake Basin
  88. Kings Range Lost Coast
  89. Tuleyome Chaparral
  90. Headwaters Redwood Valley
  91. Yolla Bolly inland Conifer Mountains
  92. Prairie Creek Coastal Forests
  93. The Klamath Knot
  94. Trinity Alpine
  95. Snow Mountain
  96. Shasta-Trinity Uplands
  97. Shasta Valley
  98. Mount Shasta
  99. Sacramento River Valley
  100. Glass Mountain Lava Lands Forest
  101. Mount Lassen
  102. Modoc Plateau
  103. Ishi Gray Pine Wildlands


Paintings and Map by Obi Kaufmann @coyotethunder


A Portfolio of Maps from the California Field Atlas

A sampling portfolio of maps, with incomplete keys.

California, A Field Atlas


My song for the California of wildflowers, of salmon, of deserts, of glaciers, of oaks and sweet pine, of lonely elk and tired vultures, of crowded tidepools and the ghost of bears. A song in echo for our dear irritable, excited, unreasonable species that needs the passionate experience of it all. You are written across this land. The world used the ocean to wet the brush in order to pen your name, a million years before your birth.

1. “Obi, but what is California?” Gary Snyder asks Obi Kaufmann after being introduced by the founder of Heyday Books, Malcolm Margolin, and being given a quick intro to the scope of the Field Atlas project. “Gary, for me, right now it is certainly a thousand heavens and a thousand hells.” San Francisco Book Club. May, 2016.

Ecological Map of California

2. “How does this book work best, Lindsie? It is not a travel guide. It is not a field guide. It is not an ecological treatise. These maps cover the entire state, but they don’t really work to get you from point A to point B.” Obi Kaufmann councils Heyday Books’ Director of Publishing, Lindsie Bear, over coffee about the Field Atlas project. “That is exactly the point, Obi. This perspective is a wholly new spatial reimagining of California. Always remember as you compile these maps: put beauty first.” Berkeley. February, 2016.

001 09.13

 I find there is a battery inside myself that needs regular refueling of wilderness and solitude to maintain the Me-of-this-world. I adore cities and all they offer, but give me those mountains! Let them climb over me as much I climb over them and I will be an easier man on my return. I need the wide open, diverse forests of the Sierra Nevada, empty with light and shining in granite. I find the distance between mountain sites I love to be mapped in song… subtle lines that shine melodies, often many weeks in length. Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines taught me of the Dreamtime mapping technologies of ancient Australian cultures. I am a bumbling fool at it, but it remains a lifelong preoccupation in reverie.