Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

NATURAL RESOURCES &
RECREATION INTRODUCTION

Why is this important?

Many people live in Tuolumne County because they enjoy nature and forests. From the foothills to the mountain crest zone, the county is a magnet drawing outdoor enthusiasts. Walking, hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, and boating are examples of uses of our public lands that many people consider essential to their quality of life.

Additionally, the use of public and private lands creates various business and recreational opportunities that are important to the local economy. For example, forest-related jobs and activities help to form the cultural identity of this county and a portion of its economic base.

What is the measure?

Human life is sustained by a flow of goods and services from the environment. Natural resource industries play a vital economic function, especially in the local rural economy. These include but are not limited to water, food, forest products, and recreation.

You will find in this section specific natural resources and recreation indicators that establish baseline data on economic and quality of life issues.

How are we doing?

The county is in the process of carrying out a grant-funded project to determine water quality in several local tributaries (streams and creeks) of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne River watersheds. It is hoped that the project will lead to policy and/or operational infrastructure that will enhance the quality of water in those tributaries. Agricultural products, forest products, minerals, energy, and recreational opportunities are key commodities and uses associated with our public and private lands, and natural resources. Utilization can deplete or degrade natural resources, or sustain and improve them when managed properly. Future human well-being depends on the development of technologies, institutions, polices, and lifestyles that use natural resources in sustainable ways.

Highlights of some of the most important findings regarding Natural Resources and Recreation include:

  • The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD), our largest water company, determined that the district has an adequate sustainable water supply for many years to come
  • Based on the current water quality standards and using the two largest water suppliers’ tests, our drinking water is essentially safe and pollutant free
  • Our upland watershed quality is generally free of contaminants and very high quality. However, the watershed quality is diminished as the water flows downhill through the populated areas.
  • Most days each year we meet state air quality standards
  • Residents and millions of visitors have access to public lands in Tuolumne County to ski, hike, fish, hunt, boat, ride horses, observe plants and wildlife, camp, and mountain climb
  • We have a wide variety of recreation opportunities available for children and adults such as golf, tennis, ice skating, soccer, swimming, and more than seventeen hundred miles of various pedestrian and equestrian trails.
  • We are working diligently to assure that we have healthy, fire-resistant forests
  • We have adequate emergency preparations in place for natural disasters like wildfires
  • The wild bird counts and migratory deer studies indicate fairly steady populations

Lake

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains