Land Cover of the West Coast
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Land Cover of the West Coast

Code: land-cover-of-the-west-coast-map

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Land Cover of the West Coast Map

 

The West Coast is defined by virtually unbroken mountains, heavily forested to the north at even low elevations. Forest cover remains dense along the coast nearly to San Francisco, but in a progressively narrow belt, with interior forests yielding to shrublands and grasslands except on higher mountains below timberline. Farmlands are locally concentrated on irrigated interior valleys, aside from the largely dry-farmed Columbia Basin.

California’s Central Valley, a remarkably flat former coastal embayment, is in a class by itself in North America, comparable to Italy’s Po Valley. Nearly all the Pacific coastline is very sparsely settled, with metro areas concentrated around Sam Francisco Bay and in their neighboring interior valleys. Southern California’s  coastline and lowlands in contrast are almost entirely densely urban. 

This map includes the three West Coast states, nearly all of Nevada, significant portions of Idaho, Arizona, and adjacent Mexican and Canadian territory. Coastal Southern California looks very different when seen as the northern end of Baja California.  
         

Dimensions: All dimensions are approximate.