OUR ENVIRONMENTBiological Resources

Understanding the importance of our biological resources allows Yucaipa to protect habitats, plants, and wildlife as the community changes over time. The landscape in the lower elevations is dominated by semiarid habitats, including rolling oak savannah, grassland, chaparral, and scrub communities. These communities transition to pine and cedar forest on the slopes of the San Bernardino mountains and eventually to alder, willow, and cottonwood woodlands at higher elevations along perennial mountain streams.


Yucaipa and its surrounding region are home to diverse vegetation and wildlife communities. These include developed and disturbed lands as well as a variety of grassland, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, deciduous woodland, and riparian plant communities. Based on a 1992 master environment assessment prepared for the City of Yucaipa, some of the more common habitats are:

  • Chaparral. This includes southern mixed chaparral, chamise chaparral, and scrub oak chaparral. These plants are along lower slopes of the mountains.
  • Coastal Sage Scrub. Coastal sage scrub in Yucaipa is classified as riversidean sage scrub. This habitat grows on steep slopes with severely drained soils.
  • Oak Woodlands. Oak woodland in Yucaipa is in various areas at lower elevations (1,000 to 2,500 feet) and canyon bottoms.
  • Disturbed Grasslands. Disturbed grasslands are shrubs or trees that are altered by development, grazing, or fire. They include a wide range of nonnative species.
  • Wetlands. The many stream channels that flow from the mountains through the valley region are populated with a year-round riparian scrub community.