PCI assisted Tukman Geospatial and partners from California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Native Plant Society in developing a state-of-the-art fine-scale map of Sonoma County’s 1.1 million acres. This 5-year project was led by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and was completed in 2017. Describing and mapping the remarkable diversity of the county’s plant communities will help scientists, land planners, and citizens understand and steward our wetlands, forests, chaparral and grasslands into the future.
A combination of field data collection, expert data analysis and review, machine learning-based modeling, and manual editing was used to prepare the map. PCI’s role included identifying vegetation types of special interest, and developing mapping strategies for them; arranging land access; performing fieldwork to classify and map vegetation types; facilitating input from local experts in botany and vegetation; and providing expert review and editing of detailed riparian, vernal pool, and other wetland mapping. The map is available to the public here. The project outputs also included detailed descriptions and classification of the county’s vegetation; LiDAR-derived data on elevation and canopy cover; hydrologic data; and carbon and biomass data.