land use map

Today on VERSO, Northwestern University professor and 2016–2017 Huntington fellow Keith Woodhouse talks maps and Americans’ relationships to nature in “Contested Visions of the Southern California Desert.”

gif: three maps—“Protection Alternative,” “Balanced Alternative,” and “Use Alternative”—from the Bureau of Land Management’s 1980 draft environmental impact statement for the California Desert Conservation Area. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.


We are in a commercial!

REI commercial that @waywardbelle and myself got to be a part of - if you look close you may see the Land Cruiser, us fiddling with maps and the glove box, riding our mountain bikes and at the very end a millisecond close up portrait of our faces.  Haha, pretty cool experience working with a great REI film crew.  

vorpalgirl  asked:

I wonder if you can help "sounding board" this?: I have a NaNo set in SoCal, where I wanted to have an ancient Weird Mystery Cave (the inside is a magic portal, don't worry about the inside). It would be good to stick it in a place where relatively few humans would frequent, but it still needs to be sorta same-day-drive-and-a-hike distance from LA/LA County, because logistics. Would the San Gabriel Mountains seem plausible to have an "isolated" cave somewhere in, or am I way off base?

So, first off, I want to remind everyone that I’m from New England, so I’m not particularly familiar with California landscapes. However, here’s what I managed to dig up from a couple of searches. If you look for “land cover map” or “land use map” for an area, you can sometimes find what you’re looking for. This can be particularly useful if you’re looking at parks or areas where land use is of particular concern for conservation and recreation purposes.

Moving ahead: Let’s start with the San Gabriel Mountains, which are probably you’re nearest wilderness area to L.A.

From what I know, I’d say your best bet is the designated wilderness areas. (You can read documents like this one to get a better idea of what each land use zone means.) People are allowed to go in and hike, but there’s no roads. I don’t know how many people have the chance of passing a particular location by chance, but the further you are from roads and campgrounds, the better chances you’ll have. Here’s another map that I think might be helpful: It has the picnic areas and campgrounds marked, so you can get an idea of where people will tend to congregate.

Given what I know, I’d say it probably isn’t impossible for there to be a secluded cave somewhere–but again, I’m not personally familiar with the area.

Another thing you could investigate: You could potentially search a little further. For example, the Sequoia National Forest is located a few hours north of L.A., which might be another possibility. Of course, you would need to figure out how many hours of hiking are involved, but if your characters could drive to a campground, then hike from there… Just another thought.

So, like I said… I’m not from California, and I don’t have any knowledge to go on except for maps. But if you have a good-sized park with a designated wilderness area, I’d say there’s probably a chance for there to be a secluded cave somewhere–especially if it’s located away from any trails. If you want to be extra sure of avoiding detection, you could simply have the entrance be rather small. If it’s small, and partially blocked by vegetation, most people might walk straight past it. (There’s also the fact that, in California, rockfalls and debris flows can be quite common in certain areas–so your cave might have been partially blocked in that way.) In any case, you can have a sizable cave interior, with only a narrow entrance, if that suits your purposes.

(I also have to note, because I’m a geologist: I don’t know if the rock types of California mountains are likely to have caves……..but even if they’re not, we can just run with the fact that it’s a magical cave.)

I don’t have personal knowledge of the area, but in general, I think it’s plausible to have a secret cave hidden somewhere in the middle of a large park, especially if the entrance isn’t terribly obvious. I say you should go for it. If you find out later that it needs a bit of tweaking, that’s what revisions are for.

Hope that helped, and best of luck!
-Mod Terra
How much of your area is built on?
Discover at the click of button exactly how the land is used in your local authority area.

The BBC are getting really good at making data accessible to non-statisticians. Here’s a little tool which shows a broad break-down of land use in your local authority.

If you don’t have postcodes you can also use the area, e.g. Westminster, Fife, Manchester, East Devon etc.