Source: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
California mirrors national development trends that found that one third of all of the land ever developed in the lower 48 states has been developed in the last 25 years. The finding comes from the National Resources Inventory, a national land use survey released every five years. Results have just been released for the period 2002-2007.
California has converted 2.1 million acres to urban uses between 1982 and 2007. At the same time losses were experienced in cropland (900,000 acres), rangeland (1,600,000 acres), and forestland (500,000 acres). The rate of urban gains has not been equal over time and the seven percent increase in development for the just-released 2002-2007 time period, is lower than for other five-year periods since the survey began.