Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


Natural vegetation communities follow predictable patterns of soil, topography, and climate. Managed agricultural lands do not. Farmland plant communities follows technology and profit. Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP) land use data from 1996 and Monterey County Local Agency Formation Commission survey maps from 1999 were used to describe land use activities as a GIS model. The project determined the spatial distribution between farmland mapping categories within the corporate boundaries (city limits) and sphere of influences boundaries (projected urban growth areas). Data indicates that 5,667 acres of farmland within the current and projected city limits will be converted to urban land within the next ten to twenty years. That is 26% of farmlands projected to be lost through the transfer and re-zoning into urban and commercial developments. Local cities are rapidly expanding: there has been 11 annexation and three formations of service districts over the last five years within the Salinas Valley. Total area within all spheres of influence is 3,180 acres, 70% of which is farmland. The City of Salinas has 1075 acres in their sphere of influence 44% which is built up and 51% is prime farmland; Gonzales has 411 acres, 4% of that is urban/built-up and 81% is prime farmland; Greenfield records 490 acres of land, with 11% urban/built-up and 80% prime farmland; Soledad has 394 acres with 13% urban/built-up and 76% prime farmland; King City has 810 acres within their spheres of influence 17% urban/built-up 70% farmland. Of that 70%, 9% is prime, 52% grazing and 8% farmland of statewide importance.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

Off-campus Download