Publication Date


Committee Chair

Fang Ren, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.


Agriculture in California is an essential part of the state economy, which has a finite inventory of viable agricultural lands for production. California is also a highly urbanized state with an ever increasing population that requires housing and employment. Therefore, there is a need to balance conservation and development. The California Department of Conservation currently uses the California Agricultural Land Evaluation and Site Assessment Model (LESA) to plan rural land use, evaluate development projects, and review applications for long-term conservation easements. However, the entire decision-making process was completed manually, which was time-consuming and prone to spatial or classification errors. In order to improve the efficiency and consistency, a prototype application was developed in ESRI ModelBuilder to GIS-enable the California LESA model using Fresno County as the study area. The ModelBuilder application automates a workflow that can improve land use decisions in California and day-to-day operations of the Department of Conservation. (14250 kB)
Improving Rural Land Use Decisions: GIS-Enabled California Agricultural Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) Model (Poster)


Article Location