On the Ground
Spanish colonists brought cattle to California when they landed in San Diego in 1769, with two hundred head of cattle arriving by overland routes.
Mexico, achieving independence, established rules to petition for land grants in California, paving the way for additional settlers by making land grants easier to obtain.
The Gold Rush resulted in cattle numbers quadrupling and sheep numbers increasing more than 60-fold between 1850 and 1860.
Multiple uses, such as agriculture crop production, impacted California rangelands.
Public policies now influence management of approximately 38 million acres of privately and publicly owned rangelands.