California Protected Areas

California Protected Areas

According to the California Protected Areas Database (CPAD), in the state of California, USA, there are over 14,000 inventoried protected areas administered by public agencies and non-profits. In addition, there are private conservation areas and other easements. They include almost one-third of California's scenic coastline, including coastal wetlands, estuaries, beaches, and dune systems. The California State Parks system alone has 270 units and covers 1.3 million acres (5,300 km²), with over 280 miles (450 km) of coastline, 625 miles (1,006 km) of lake and river frontage, nearly 18,000 campsites, and 3,000 miles (5,000 km) of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

Obtaining an accurate total of all protected land in California and elsewhere is a complex task. Many parcels have inholdings, private lands within the protected areas, which may or may not be accounted for when calculating total area. Also, occasionally one parcel of land is included in two or more inventories. Over 90% of Yosemite National Park for example, is listed both as wilderness by the National Wilderness Preservation System, and as national park land by the National Park Service. The Cosumnes River Preserve is an extreme example, owned and managed by a handful of public agencies and private landowners, including the Bureau of Land Management, the County of Sacramento and The Nature Conservancy. Despite the difficulties, the CPAD gives the total area of protected land at 49,000,000 acres (200,000 km2), or 46.7% of the state (not including easements); a considerable amount for the most populous state in the country.

Read more about California Protected AreasNational Park System, National Landscape Conservation System, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Wildlife Refuges, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Wilderness Preservation System, National Forests, State Parks, State Wilderness Areas, Department of Fish and Game Protected Areas, Municipal Parks, Privately Owned Preserves, Largest Land Owners of Protected Lands

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