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Northwestern California Maps

NW California

This research guide lists both print and Internet maps that cover northwestern California. The table of contents below lists maps by theme and environment. "Other Sources" lists guides to gis and imagery resources of northwestern California as well as more general guides to California resources that may cover northwestern California.

Maps by Theme

Maps by Environment

Other Sources



Agriculture & Forestry

Coast & Ocean



Energy & Mineral Resources

Environmental Pollution

  • Central and Northern California Coastal Marine Habitats: Oil Residence and Biological Sensitivity Indices: Final Report (Woodward-Clyde Consultants) 1982 (POCS Technical Paper #83-5) (Docs I 53.29/2:83-5; maps shelved in Documents Map Case) Prepared for the US Minerals Management Service Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Region. Includes a narrative report that describes the geological and biological characteristics of the California coast from Point Conception to the Oregon border; the development of biological sensitivity and oil residence indices that identify areas of potential concern in the event of an oil spill; and counter measures available to protect or cleanup areas of high concern. The accompanying map set includes a set of 130 1:24,000 scale maps and accompanying legends that characterize in detail physical and biological shoreline features and show biological sensitivity and oil residence indices; and a set of eight 1:250,000 scale maps that provide a more general physical characterization of shoreline features and repeat the biological sensitivity and oil residence indices.
  • Northern California Environmental Sensitivity Atlas (California Department of Fish and Game. Office of Spill Prevention and Response) Uses USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles as a base map to present three types of information that can be used in oil spill contingency planning and assessment--shoreline classification as it relates to oil contamination sensitivity, sensitive human-use resources such as water intakes, and sensitive biological resources such as seabird colonies. Produced by the US National Ocean Service Office of Response and Restoration, Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps are also available as pdf images through the NOS Data Explorer interactive mapper. For further information see ESI Maps.
  • GeoTracker: Humboldt County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Trinity County, and Mendocino County (California State Water Resources Control Board) Interactive mapper that emphasizes data layers for Leaking Underground Fuel Tanks (LUFTs) and public drinking water wells. Other available data layers include Underground Storage Tanks (USTs), roads, topography and watersheds.


Listed are maps that for the most part are at a scale of 1:100,000 or smaller. For site specific studies see the indexes to geologic mapping typically included with these maps and the Indexes and Guides to California geologic mapping.


Land Ownership and Use


See also Humboldt Bay and Other Estuarine Environments.

Natural Communities & Habitats

Natural Hazards





For northwestern California soil maps, associated reports and data on individual soil series see Northwestern California/Klamath Bioregion Environment Information Sources-Soils.

Street & Road

The Humboldt Room pamplet collection contains street and road maps for many Humboldt cities and towns. They are filed under [name of politicial unit--maps]


  • USGS Topographic Quadrangles Recent quads are located in the HSU Map Collection. Older 1:24,000 and 1:62,500 topographic quadrangles of northwestern California are kept in map cabinets in the Humboldt Room and are also available on microfilm (MF 2370). The Map Index to Topographic Quadrangles of the United States, 1882-1940 (ref GA 405 M64 1985) provides indexing for this microfilm set.
  • Mid-Humboldt County Topographic Mapping (Map G 4363 H8 C1 1969 Hum Co Coll) Map series at a scale of 1:6,000.
  • USGS Orthophotoquad Maps These are USGS 1:24,000 orthophoto "maps". The HSU Library has in the Humboldt Room coverage for northwestern California dating between 1976 and 1990. Orthophotoquad maps are also available online at both TerraServer and TerraFly.
  • Topo! Mount Shasta, Lassen Wilderness and the Trinity Alps (Wildflower Productions) 1999 (Atlas G 1526 C28 W55 1999--filed at geospatial computers near the HSU Map Collection) CD-ROM includes 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 USGS topographic maps that cover Mount Shasta, Trinity Alps, Lassen National Park, Marble Mountains, Russian Wilderness, and other recreation areas and national forests in northern California. Zoom through increasing levels of display; print a custom map; save maps in a number of raster formats; draw a freehand route that displays distances and generates an elevation profile.


  • Analysis of Map River Delta, 1854-1862 Compared with Mad River, 1995-1997 (City of Arcata) Shows distribution of vegetation from Humboldt Bay to the Mad River based upon maps published in 1854 and 1870.
  • California Vegetation: Humboldt County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Trinity County, and Mendocino County (International Center for the Environment) Series of maps generated from ICE Maps using the CalVeg vegetation layer.
  • Klamath-Siskiyou Dominant Vegetation Types (low resolution, high resolution (Conservation Biology Institute) See Klamath-Siskiyou Conservation Assessment for code key.
  • Russian River Watershed Vegetation Map (Brooks) Generated from the the CalVeg landcover gis layer for California.
  • Timber-Stand--Vegetation Cover Maps (California Cooperative Soil Vegetation Survey) (map G 4361 K2 s31 U5) Series of 467 maps produced between 1948 and 1962 at a scale of 1:31,680 which depicts timber characteristics in northern California.
  • Vegetation in the Northwest Ecoregion (Information Center for the Environment)
  • Soil-Vegetation Maps (California Cooperative Soil Vegetation Survey) (map G 4361 J3 s31 U5) Ongoing series that maps the soil and vegetation characteristics in units as small as 10 acres at scales of 1:31,680 and 1:24,000. Each map sheet covers the same geographic area as a USGS 1:24,000 topographic map. Geographic coverage is mostly northern California. See the index on the Map Display Panel in the Atlas and Map Collection for extent of coverage. Located in the upright map filing cabinet in the Atlas and Map Collection are explanatory guides for each individual map as well general guides for the series, all of which contain keys to the map symbols.
  • Vegetation Types - North Coast/Klamath Bioregion (CERES)

Water Resources and Quality

Weather & Climate

Humboldt Bay and Other Estuarine Environments