Learning Center >> Map Study >> Resources of the local region

  Resources of the local region content :

Aquifer Forest
Region Resource
Volcano Waterfall

  Resources of the local region

Information about our California state :

State Nickname The Golden State
State Motto Eureka (I have found it)
State Song "I Love You, California"
State Bird California valley quail (Lophortyx californica)
State Mammal Grizzly bear
State Marine Mammal Gray whale
State Reptile Desert tortoise
State Insect California dog-face butterfly
State Fish Golden trout
State Marine Fish Garibaldi
State Flower California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
State Tree

Redwood - Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Giant redwood (S. gigantea). The redwood is the tallest tree, growing up to 370 feet (113 m) tall and living for over a thousand years. One redwood in California is 2,200 years old. The roots of this giant conifer is shallow, but spread sideways up to 250 feet (75 meters) from the trunk. The bark is deeply-furrowed, fibrous, thick [up to about 1 foot (30.5 cm) thick] and lacks resin. There are many species of redwood.

State Grass Purple Needle grass (Nassella pulchra)
State Fossil  Smilodon fatalis (saber tooth tiger)
State Rock Serpentinite
State Mineral Gold
State Gem Benitoite

The Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys are bordered by numerous ranges of the Coast Mountains, running the entire length of the state along the Pacific Ocean. The Colorado River forms its eastern border with Arizona, while other significant rivers include the Sacramento and San Joaquin. The Sierra Nevada Mountains extend along California's eastern border, and include Mt Whitney, the state's highest point at 14, 494 ft, and the Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite National Park. Death Valley, the Colorado and Mohave Deserts and the Salton Sea are south and southeast.


  Early California history

Early California History: The earliest inhabitants of California were Indians who, unlike other North American Indian groupings, had no centralized governmental structures. Instead, each group had its own independent territorial and political units. At the time of initial European exploration, the major language groupings in the area were the Na-Denz, Hokan, Penutian, and Aztec-Tanoan. The region received scant attention from Europeans for more than three centuries after its first sighting in 1542 by the Spanish navigator Juan Cabrillo. The Franciscan friar Junipero Serra established the first mission at San Diego in 1769. The 21 missions established by Serra and his successors drew large Indian populations and were centers for farming and ranching. In 1846, American settlers at Sonoma seized control and proclaimed an independent California republic. The discovery of gold in 1848 caused immediate, extensive population growth, and in 1850, California became the 31st state.

California gets much of its water from groundwater. To get groundwater, one needs only to sink a well above a suitable aquifer and begin pumping. Historically, there has been control on the amount of groundwater anyone could pump. This has led, in some areas, to people pumping more water out of the aquifer than is replenished naturally or by artificial recharge. This condition is known as overdraft. When an aquifer has been severely over drafted, it physically loses that storage capacity permanently. That is, it will never again be able to hold the pre-overdraft amount of water.


Problems associated with overdraft include:
Storage capacity drops -- leading to a permanent loss of supply,
Water levels fall -- necessitating deepening and possibly abandonment of wells and higher pumping costs,
Land subsidence -- the surface elevation declines.

The Sacramento River hydrologic region contains the entire drainage area of the Sacramento River and its tributaries. It begins upstream of Shasta Lake near the Oregon boarder and extends south to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The San Joaquin River hydrologic region contains the entire drainage area of the San Joaquin and its tributaries. It extends from the Delta and the Cosumnes River in the north to the southern reaches of the San Joaquin watershed. The Tulare Lake Region includes the Southern San Joaquin Valley. It ranges from the southern limit of the San Joaquin River watershed to the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains.

Silicon Valley, bridging the San Jose and San Francisco areas, has become a world leader in high technology products ranging from computers to telecommunications and the Internet. California has a diverse set of industries including agriculture, entertainment, oil, mining and high technology manufacturing such as telecommunications, computers, and biotechnology. The Digital Coast in southern California, around Los Angeles, has become famous for motion pictures and the entertainment industry.

California also has many coastal redwood forests. The redwood tree, California's state tree, is the tallest tree in the world, with many reaching over 300 feet tall. Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is 22 miles wide, and 72 miles around, at an altitude of 6,200 feet. It is best known for its ability to create startup companies in emerging new industries.


  Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta : One of the first questions that people from out of town ask is, "Where did the name 'Shasta' come from?" The four most common reasons offered for our mountain's name are the following:
1. Our mountain is named after a very famous local Indian.
2. It is named after a local Indian tribe.
3. It comes from the Indian word Tsasdi, meaning 'three' and refers to our triple-peaked mountain.
4. The Russians who settled at Bodega could see it from the Coast Range. They called it Tchastal or "the white and pure mountain."

When Europeans first entered northern California in the 1820's, they found several small Indian tribes. The area north of Mount Shasta was the territory of the Shasta Indians. These hunter-gathers lived in small bands and were migratory. To the northeast lived the Klamath Indians, a people who were primarily hunters, and noted for having made some of the finest obsidian projectile points known. The area near Medicine Lake is a source for obsidian, and this black glass was traded with other West Coast tribes. Mount Shasta is a compound stratovolcano that has been built by repeated eruptions during the past 200,000 years. Although the mountain itself is relatively young, it has been built atop older basalts and andesites whose ages indicate that volcanism has been taking place at the site of the present cone for at least the past 600,000 years.


Ancestral Mount Shasta : Pre-Shasta basalts form a number of shield volcanoes, such as Everett Hill and Ash Creek Butte that stand just south and east of the mountain. A suite of coeval andesites, which crop out on Mount Shasta's southwestern flank, are the remnants of an earlier stratocone that stood on the site of the present mountain until sometime between 360,000 and 160,000 years ago. The youngest rocks from this "ancestral Mount Shasta", which yield a Potassium-Argon Date of 360,000 years, are found as blocks in the massive debris avalanche that blankets the western Shasta Valley. Mapping of the avalanche deposit by Crandell and others (1984) has shown that the avalanche flowed at least 43 kilometers northwestward from the base of the Mount Shasta and contained at least 26 cubic kilometers of material.

Sedimentary rocks incorporated into the avalanche deposit (Ui and Glicken, 1986), and soft sediment injected into it along fractures, indicate that marshy lake and stream deposits covered at least part of the Shasta Valley when the avalanche swept across it. Following the collapse of the northern flank of ancestral Mount Shasta, olivine basalt lavas flowed from a vent between, The Whaleback and Deer Mountain and spread across the eastern Shasta Valley. These basalts, which are about 160,000 years old buried the eastern part of the avalanche deposit and formed several large lava tubes including Pluto and Barnum Caves.

Like the Bell Rocks of Arizona, Mt. Shasta is the reputed site of a spiritual "Energy Vortex". This Northern California volcano is well known to the spiritual community and has been a place long-revered by Native Americans. According to a legend, around the year 1821, a Spanish explorer reported, that while climbing Mount Diablo near San Francisco saw Mount Shasta. He called it "Jesus and Maria" because of the double peaks. About this time, the Russians probably viewed Mount Shasta from the coast near Fort Ross.

Most of Mount San Jacinto State Park is wilderness, containing three mountain peaks, higher than 10,000 feet in elevation. The mountain peaks offer spectacular views of nearby desert and mountain ranges. Visitors can drive into the park from the park's west side or ride a tram 2.5 miles up the mountain on the East side. The City of Mt. Shasta is nestled at the foot of beautiful Mt. Shasta, the second highest volcano in the United States and a major peak of the Cascade Range. Mt. Shasta is surrounded by natural beauty and plenty of recreational activities.

There are about 25 million acres of desert in California and Southern Nevada. That's a lot of territory filled with all kinds of things to see and do. Death Valley National Park has more than 3.3 million acres of spectacular desert scenery, interesting and rare desert wildlife, complex geology, and undisturbed wilderness. Early maps portrayed today's Mount Shasta variously as Mount Pitt, Mount Jackson, and Mount Simpson and said that it was over 20,000 feet above sea level.



Yosemite is as beautiful in winter as everyone says it is, and the valley had seen a lot of snow just a few days before the autumn. Down in Yosemite Valley, at 4000 feet elevation, it was too warm to see good crystals. Even at night, the snow is wet and gloppy. Nearby Badger Pass, at 7000 feet elevation provided some good crystals, although most were covered with rime. Simply stated, Yosemite Valley, only 7 miles long and nearly 1 mile wide, is a flat-floored, widened part of the canyon of the Merced River. Projecting boldly from the north wall, its top rises 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Directly opposite stand the Cathedral Rocks, over 2,500 feet high, which also jut into the valley. Between the west end of this promontory and the Leaning Tower, Bridal veil fall leaps 620 feet, its abundant spray commonly suffused with rainbows. The Upper Fall, 1,430 feet high, would alone make any valley famous; it is the highest unbroken leap of water on the Continent. The Lower Fall, which descends 320 feet, seems insignificant by comparison, yet it is twice as high as Niagara Falls. The entire chain of falls and intermediate cascades drops 2,425 feet. Ribbon fall, west of El Capitan, descends 1,612 feet, but it is confined in a sheer-walled recess and does not make a clear leap throughout.


For its towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, granite domes and spires, glacially sculpted and polished rock, and beautiful alpine scenery, Yosemite National Park is world famous. Nowhere else are all these exceptional features so well displayed and so easily accessible. Artists, writers, tourists, and geologists, flock to Yosemite, and marvel at its natural wonders. Farther up the valley, on the north side, are the Royal Arches, sculptured one within another into an inclined rock wall that rises 1,500 feet. Facing the Royal Arches on the south wall stands Glacier Point providing a matchless view of the valley from its summit; this stands 3,200 feet above the valley floor. From its summit, over 4,800 feet above the valley, you look southeast into Little Yosemite Valley, which is broad floored and has granite walls more gently sloping than in its larger namesake.

Yosemite National Park is a large national park in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. The park covers an area of 1,189 mi2 (3,081 km2) and stretches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Over 3 million people visit Yosemite each year, with most only seeing Yosemite Valley. The park has an elevation range from 2,000 to 13,123 feet (600 to 4000 m) and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane, upper montane, sub alpine and alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% within Yosemite.

From Little Yosemite's western portal, guarded by Liberty Cap, the Merced River descends by a giant stairway, making two magnificent waterfalls, Nevada Fall, dropping 594 feet, and Vernal Fall, dropping 317 feet. Looking northward from Half Dome's summit, the view is into Tenaya Canyon, a chasm as profound as Yosemite Valley itself, yet the pathway of only a small brook. To the northeast, Clouds Rest, the loftiest summit near Yosemite Valley, rises to 9,926 feet; beyond, spreads the vast panorama of the High Sierra. Rose-colored sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and mile-high mountains are all part of the scene at Mojave National Preserve.

Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, this new park was established in 1994 through the California Desert Protection Act. The Preserve encompasses 1.6 million acres of mountains, jumble rocks, desert washes, and dry lakes; outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the opportunity for solitude here not easily found at other southern California parks. The present Yosemite Valley is the result of many different geologic processes operating over an incomprehensible length of time measured in millions of years. The rock from which the valley is carved originated mainly during the Cretaceous period, about 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. At that time molten rock, magma, generated deep within the Earth, rose upward within the Earth's crust, or upper layer, and crystallized far beneath the surface to form granite rock along a linear belt that was to become the future Sierra Nevada.


  External web resource links
California's Natural Resources
California History
California Travel Now
Library Map Collection
California's Natural Resources
Natural resources of California
California-Student Encyclopedia
First Gov for Kids
California Coastal Coalition
California coastal Commission
California Mission Studies Association
Where is That