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California and Landsat

June 16, 2021

California has remarkable geographic diversity, from 1,100 miles of Pacific shoreline to 33 million acres of trees, including its famous redwood forests along the Pacific Coast Highway, U.S. Route 101. And although California’s nickname is “The Golden State," it may also deserve the title of “The Extreme State.” Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the conterminous United States, stands at 14,494 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Just 2.5 hours away by car, Death Valley’s Badwater Basin boasts the lowest point in the United States: 282 feet below sea level. Although hundreds of inches of snow fall on Mount Whitney each year, the rainfall in Death Valley, commonly called the hottest place on Earth, averages less than 2 inches.

California is the most populous U.S. State with 39 million residents, 26 million of whom live near the coast. It’s also the most agriculturally productive State, raising a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, grasses, and flowers in addition to dairy and livestock. Although climate change affects many of these people, production, and places, Landsat can help agencies and residents monitor their landscapes and plan for a resilient future.