A Look at the Delta through the years and the latest attempt to mess with Nature or Revise the Delta!

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Land Use and Ownership in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta
(It's not just about the water)  see the Timeline

     Most of the 500,000 acres of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta are privately owned, purchased from the state in the 1850's to 1900's by families who have farmed the land since California became a state.  These land owners have the right to use fresh water for their existing uses and purposes, usually farming.  BUT IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE WATER!  As the maps below show, there's tremendous natural resources in the Delta:  natural gas (confirmed), maybe oil, solar and wind energy opportunities.

     Land ownership facts:  When California became a state, the Federal government gave the lands to the state to SELL to persons interested in reclaiming the lands to use for farming and other productive uses.   The federal government did keep substantial lands in California outside of the Delta area, and today the lands are managed by the USBR which owns 40% or more of California lands according to references.  But the federal government did NOT retain ownership of the Delta lands, and the state promoted reclamation into farmlands.   Some islands had natural levees already, as shown in maps from the 1850's.  Ryer Island, Grand Island and those areas along the Sacramento River from Antioch to Sacramento are examples of natural-formed levees.   Families who came to California for the gold rush instead bought Delta lands for farming, homes and recreational opportunities.  Many of the smaller farms of 20 acres to 200 acres still remain in the same families five generations after the land was reclaimed.  The levees of the Central Delta area were built later, as large companies or families bought the lands and created more defined Delta islands in the Central and South parts of the Delta, along the San Joaquin River area. 
     Based on the maps below, it appears that over the last 10 years state and federal agencies have bought larger Delta parcels or whole islands  from corporate owners, and then turned the Delta lands over to agencies like Fish & Game or nonprofits like The Nature Conservancy to manage.  There are also pending plans to use several more Delta islands for in-delta storage (IDSP), with the owners of those islands proposing the alternate use of the land.  But the majority of the private land owners of the Delta, especially the farmers, are opposed to the taking of more fresh water from the Delta because then they will not be able to have fresh water for farming, residential well use, and their other traditional uses.  Delta land owners have riparian water rights that would be violated if the fresh Delta water was diverted to new canals or tunnels.  The media talks about the "fish vs farmer" conflict, but entirely ignores the FACT that if farmers of the Central Valley and Urban dwellers of the East Bay take more Delta water, they are taking it from the Delta farmers who have first rights to the water.  See below for various maps found showing who owns what in the Delta:

Sacramento San Joaquin public land ownership

Western Delta Islands public ownership 2010

Protected and public lands of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta

Here's links to many different maps in PDF format so you can make them as large as you need to see the details.  If you have a slow internet connection, go find a fast one as some of these files are very large maps:

gas_fields_of_the_delta-go to maps
2008land_use.pdf    maps2000.pdf    2009gov-owned-protected_delta_lands.pdf

DPC Background Report on Utilities and Infrastructure.pdf




Brannan-Andrus Island_REV.pdf     sac_valley_land_use_map.pdf
mapbookv24_063.pdf   camping. PDF
Ag_land.pdf   gas fields and lines.pdf   gas_oil_production.pdf
undated_DeltaPrimary[1].PDF   medianhouseholdincome.pdf
minoritypercentage.pdf   R_207JLMap6_6.pdf 
sacramento_land_use2006    sjvalley_urban_change1984_2004.pdf
yolo_county_land_use   North_Delta_gov_protected_lands.cdr
Rio_Vista_REV-2.pdf   riparian_veg.pdf   SacramentoWA_09_10.pdf

SanJoaquinWA_07_08.pdf   sjq wa 06_07.pdf  delta_population.cdr
project levees. PDF     soil.pdf       
bayarea_urban_change1984_2004.pdf   bdcp_ag_urban.pdf

conveyance_plan.pdf   delta priorities map.pdf  

Natural Communities Map - East9212009.pdf

Natural Communities Map - south9212009.pdf
Natural Communities Map - West9122009.pdf
Distribution of Agricultural Land_9212009.pdf
fmmp2002_36_40.pdf   fmmp2004_11_17.pdf  fmmp2004_36_40.pdf
gas fields and lines-ucb.pdf    usace-Ch6Fig.pdf
South_Delta_gov_protected_lands.cdr   vineyard.pdf
1_042309_Zoning.pdf   2004delta_land_ownership.pdf

Delta irrigation

Delta population areas

Delta natural gas fields

Williamson Act lands of the Delta region

DFG Near-term acquisition and enhancement priorities in the Delta and Suisun Marsh

Natural gas fields of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta


USBR and Federal land ownership in the western states

Delta farming

Sacramento San Joaquin Delta marinas and camping recreation areas

Marinas of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta 2001

Delta area crops

Popular recreation river and sloughs of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta region

Delta Williamson Act farmland in non-renewal status

Rice farming in the Delta on Sutter, Tyler and Brannen Islands

Delta area agriculture types

sol06.pdf map_ryer.pdf.pdf   solano_county_land_use

solano_farm_urban   solano_land_use2006   solano_land_use2008


 Index Summary 
Compiled by Delta citizens and Delta Voices Last Modified :01/15/14 04:34 PM Copyright 2009-2013 ,