Madera County, California

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Madera County
County of Madera
Wassama Roundhouse.jpg
Devils Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lakes.jpg
Fresno Dome Madera County.jpg
Mt Banner and Thousand Island Lake.jpg
Basslake goatmountain.jpg
2018 Madera County Logo.png
Madera County, California
Interactive map of Madera County
Map of California highlighting Madera County.svg
Location in the state of California
Country United States
State California
Regions San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada
Metropolitan area Metropolitan Fresno
Incorporated 1893
Named for Spanish word meaning "wood"
County seat Madera
Largest cityMadera
Government
  Type Council–CAO
  BodyBoard of Supervisors
  ChairDavid Rogers
  Chair Pro TemRobert L Poythress
  Board of Supervisors [1]
Supervisors
  • Jordon Wamhoff
  • David Rogers
  • Robert L Poythress
  • Leticia Gonzalez
  • Robert Macaulay
  County Administrative OfficerJay Varney
Area
  Total2,153 sq mi (5,580 km2)
  Land2,137 sq mi (5,530 km2)
  Water16 sq mi (40 km2)
Highest elevation
13,143 ft (4,006 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total156,255
  Density73/sq mi (28/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
FIPS code06-039
GNIS feature ID 277284
Congressional districts 5th, 13th
Website www.maderacounty.com

Madera County ( /məˈdɛərə/ ), officially the County of Madera, is located at the geographic center of the U.S. state of California. [2] It features a varied landscape, encompassing the eastern San Joaquin Valley and the central Sierra Nevada, with Madera serving as the county seat. [3] Established in 1893 from part of Fresno County, Madera County reported a population of 156,255 in the 2020 census. [4]

Contents

"Madera," meaning "wood" in Spanish, signifies the county's historical ties to the lumber industry. [5] With a section of Yosemite National Park within its borders, Madera County has leveraged tourism as a key economic driver. Additionally, it has established itself as a leading agricultural center, renowned for its substantial production of almonds, grapes, and pistachios. Despite these economic advantages, Madera County encounters socioeconomic challenges, including a median household income that falls below the California average and poverty rates that exceed state averages, underscoring the economic disparities within the county. [6]

Madera County is characterized by its diverse population, including a pronounced Native American heritage and a history of immigration and migration dating back to the California Gold Rush. The county has a 59.6% Hispanic or Latino population and 20.3% of residents are foreign-born, both percentages surpassing the national averages. Additionally, nearly half of Madera County's population speaks a language other than English at home, reflecting its multicultural composition. [7]

Etymology

Logging in the Sierra, Madera County, c. 1901 Betsy1901.jpg
Logging in the Sierra, Madera County, c.1901

Madera is the Spanish term for wood. [8] The county derives its name from the town of Madera, named when the California Lumber Company built a log flume to carry lumber to the Central Pacific Railroad there in 1876. [9]

History

Madera County was formed in 1893 from Fresno County during a special election held in Fresno on May 16, 1893. Citizens residing in the area that was to become Madera County voted 1,179 to 358 for separation from Fresno County and the establishment of Madera County. [10]

The Madera County Sheriff's Department employed the first woman in California to die in the line of duty as a sworn law enforcement officer—Tulare native Lucille Helm (1914–1959). For 15 years, the Madera housewife and mother of four worked on call as a "matron" assisting with female transfers. [11]

Human History

Native People

Mono couple living near Northfork, California, ca. 1920 Photograph with text of a Mono couple living near Northfork, California. This is from a survey report of Fresno and... - NARA - 296289 (cropped).jpg
Mono couple living near Northfork, California, ca. 1920

The region now known as Madera County was originally the territory of several Native American tribes, notably the Mono, Chukchansi, and Miwok. The Mono inhabited the upper San Joaquin River region, encompassing areas around North Fork and Crane Valley. The Chukchansi tribe lived in what are today the communities of Oakhurst, Coarsegold, Ahwahnee, and the lower foothills extending to the San Joaquin Valley. Meanwhile, the Miwok were located in the vicinity of Ahwahnee, Wawona, Mariposa, and the Yosemite Valley. [12] :8

Following the California Gold Rush, many Native American communities were displaced, a situation exacerbated by the Mariposa War and institutionalized by the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians. [13] Despite these adversities, several communities persevered in their traditional lifestyles. However, the creation of the Sierra National Forest in 1897 introduced a citizen-only land use permit system, effectively excluding Native Americans until they were granted citizenship in 1924 through the Indian Citizenship Act. [12] :13

Immigration and Migration

Early United States Era

Since the area was part of Mexico until 1848, it has maintained a significant population of Mexican descent. [14] After the California Gold Rush, the region became a vibrant mosaic, drawing individuals from across the United States and beyond. [15] Chinese laborers played a key role in constructing the Madera Flume and working in the Sugar Pine lumber yards. However, their numbers declined after restrictive immigration laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Immigration Act of 1917 were enacted. This led to Mexican immigrants filling the roles previously held by Chinese workers, signifying a notable change in the area's labor dynamics. [16] [17] :81

20th Century

During the 1930s, Madera County became a destination for significant numbers of refugees from the Dust Bowl, primarily originating from Oklahoma and Arkansas. [18] [19]

In the mid-20th century, the Bracero Program, designed to recruit labor from Mexico, played a crucial role in mitigating the agricultural labor shortages that arose during World War II and the Korean War. Advocated by the Madera County Chamber of Commerce, efforts were made to persuade the federal government to prolong the guest worker program beyond its original expiration in 1964. [20] [21] Despite the program's conclusion, labor migration continued, and by the end of the century, Madera County had become increasingly dependent on a migrant workforce. As of the 1990s, this workforce was predominantly composed of Mixtecs from Oaxaca, Mexico, numbering an estimated 5,000 individuals. [22] [23]

Geography

The highest point in Madera county is Mount Ritter standing at 13,149 feet (4,008 m). 170828-FS-Inyo-PRW-MountRitter (36911169891).jpg
The highest point in Madera county is Mount Ritter standing at 13,149 feet (4,008 m).

Madera County is characterized by its diverse landscapes, encompassing the fertile San Joaquin Valley, grasslands and oak woodlands of the foothills, and the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. A significant part of Yosemite National Park, known for its wilderness and alpine areas, lies within the county. Madera County also hosts important waterways, including parts of the San Joaquin River and several lakes and reservoirs, vital for agriculture, ecosystems, and recreation.

The county experiences a range of climates, from arid in the valley to alpine in the higher Sierra Nevada, creating diverse microclimates and environments across the area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,153 square miles (5,580 km2), of which 2,137 square miles (5,530 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2), or 0.8%, is water. [24]

Madera County is part of the Madera AVA wine region.

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1900 6,364
1910 8,36831.5%
1920 12,20345.8%
1930 17,16440.7%
1940 23,31435.8%
1950 36,96458.5%
1960 40,4689.5%
1970 41,5192.6%
1980 63,11652.0%
1990 88,09039.6%
2000 123,10939.8%
2010 150,86522.5%
2020 156,2553.6%
2023 (est.)162,858 [25] 4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [26]
1790–1960 [27] 1900–1990 [28]
1990–2000 [29] 2010 [30] 2020 [31]

2020 Census

Madera County's demographic composition and economic indicators reveal contrasts with both state and national averages. The county's median household income is reported at $76,920, which is below California's median of $91,551, reflecting economic disparities within the region. [32] Additionally, Madera County's poverty rate of 24.3% surpasses the state's 12.2% rate, underscoring significant economic challenges, particularly affecting children under 18, with 38.2% living in poverty. [33] Comparatively, Madera County's median income slightly exceeds the national median of $69,717. However, its poverty rate of 22.0% also exceeds the national average, indicating a notable income inequality within the county. [33]

In terms of housing, Madera County offers relatively more affordable options compared to the rest of California, with a median gross rent of $1,189 against the state's $1,870. [33] The homeownership rate in Madera County is 69.0%, which is higher than California's rate of 55.8%. [33]

The labor force participation rate in Madera County is 56.4%, which is lower than the national rate. The county has a youthful demographic, with 27.1% under 18 years old, compared to the national figure of 22.4%. [33] The percentage of elderly residents in Madera County is slightly below the U.S. average. [33]

Madera County is notable for its higher percentage of foreign-born residents at 20.3%, surpassing the national average. This contributes to the county's multicultural identity, with a significant Hispanic or Latino population of 59.6%. [33] Linguistic diversity is evident, with 46.5% of residents speaking a language other than English at home. [33] An estimated 12,500 to 15,000 people in Madera County are undocumented immigrants. [34] [35]

Educational attainment in Madera County shows that 21.4% of its population holds a Bachelor's degree or higher, which is below the California average. [33]

Madera County, California - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / EthnicityPop 2010 [30] Pop 2020 [31] % 2010% 2020
White alone (NH)57,38048,39938.03%30.97%
Black or African American alone (NH)5,0094,1313.32%2.64%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)1,7901,7381.19%1.11%
Asian alone (NH)2,5333,5811.68%2.29%
Pacific Islander alone (NH)1071220.07%0.08%
Some Other Race alone (NH)6497230.43%0.46%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)2,4054,3831.59%2.81%
Hispanic or Latino (any race)80,99293,17853.69%59.63%
Total150,865156,255100.00%100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Madera County, California - Places by Population, Income, and Employment
PlaceTotal PopulationBachelors Degree or Higher (%)Total Housing UnitsTotal HouseholdsMedian Household IncomeEmployment Rate (%)Without Health Care Coverage (%)
Ahwahnee [36] 2,29630.31,000785$79,25045.62.8
Bass Lake [37] 57559.9868139$145,08338.812.6
Chowchilla [38] 23,377135,7655,399$69,13937.78.2
Coarsegold [39] 4,14422.71,8371,738$81,81449.84.9
Fairmead [40] 1,2359.5374394$53,20345.310.1
La Vina [41] 637016115743.42.6
Madera [42] 97,83813.227,45425,497$70,272548.2
Madera Acres [43] 9,16211.42,5542,599$80,22151.36.8
Madera Ranchos [44] 24.63,010$82,29253.14.0
Nippinawasse 4340188172$71,62244.927.6
Oakhurst [45] 5,94529.43,1342,180$73,33353.36.2
Parksdale [46] 3,2347.4784611$45,28143.88.9
Yosemite Lakes [47] 5,02236.62,1531,909$99,49153.66.4

Economy

19th and 20th Century

Typical log felled in Sugar Pine, 1915 Typical-log-at-Sugar-Pine-California-1915.jpg
Typical log felled in Sugar Pine, 1915

Madera County's origins are deeply rooted in boom-and-bust cycles, primarily driven by extractive industries. Initially, the county's economy was heavily reliant on mineral extraction and timber harvesting. Over time, agriculture and ag related industries became the predominant employer and economic force.

Gold

Madera County became known for gold mining during the California Gold Rush. Madera County, created in 1893 from a portion of Fresno County, encompassed most of the region's productive gold mines. These mines, located primarily at the junction of the Sierra Nevada batholith with pre-Cretaceous schist and slate, stretched from Grub Gulch to Hildreth. [48]

Grub Gulch, located near the end of Highway 49, was a gold rush town renowned for its easily accessible gold. [49] Initially, Grub Gulch was a simple shanty town of tents, but it blossomed into a bustling community in the late 1880s, spurred by successful placer mining in nearby streams. At its peak, the town boasted five saloons, a general store, a post office, and a boarding house. Remarkably, out of the $1.35 million worth of gold extracted from Madera County, nearly $1 million originated from Grub Gulch. [48]

By the 1950s, gold production had significantly dropped, primarily from dredging operations along the Fresno, Chowchilla, and San Joaquin Rivers with almost no production after 1959. [48]

Tungsten

In the mid-20th century, Madera County's High Sierra regions became prominent for their significant tungsten deposits, leading to extensive mining activities near Mammoth Lakes, Central Camp, and Fish Camp. One notable example, the Strawberry Tungsten Mine, was valued at $1 million in 1955 and had the capacity to process 310 metric tons of ore daily by 1981. [50]

However, tungsten mining in the Sierra Nevada faced challenges due to harsh winter conditions and intense competition from low-cost tungsten imports from China. These challenges were part of a broader decline in the U.S. starting in the 1980s, caused by falling market prices and economic issues, resulting in a major decrease in tungsten mining nationwide. As a result, tungsten mining in Madera County and the rest of the Sierra Nevada has stopped entirely. [51]

Lumber

The record-breaking Madera log flume was 65 mi (105 km) long. California Lumber Company Log Flume.jpg
The record-breaking Madera log flume was 65 mi (105 km) long.

The discovery of gold was quickly followed by a high demand for lumber, which was essential for constructing sluice boxes and building early settlements. The first sawmill in the county was constructed in 1852 on the east fork of Redwood Creek, north of Oakhurst, in an area currently known as Old Corral. This mill primarily provided lumber to miners and settlers in the Coarsegold and Fresno Flats areas. [52] In 1854, Charles Converse and Bill Chitister purchased the mill and relocated it to Crane Valley, the area now known as Bass Lake. [52]

In 1872, the California Lumber Company initiated the region's first major lumber operation with a steam mill near Nelder Grove. They built a record-setting 65 mi (105 km) long log flume to Madera to float finished lumber to market. [52] Although it ran out of money in 1874, it was restructured and operated at a profit for the next four decades. [53] :146

During the Great Depression, Madera County's lumber industry and logging railroads ceased operations. In 1941, the industry recovered when a new sawmill in North Fork was built, which used logging trucks and advanced equipment for deeper access into the Sierra National Forest. However, in the early 1990s, tighter government rules reduced forest yields, hurting the mill's profits. This downturn led to the end of Madera County's logging era in February 1994, when the last log was processed.

21st Century

Employment

Madera County's employment sectors are a blend of traditional industries like farming and manufacturing, coupled hospitality and service-oriented fields. [54] :8 Based on the average employment percentages from 2015 to 2022, the employment sectors in Madera County are ranked as follows:

Madera County Employment Sectors [54] :8
SectorEmployment Share
Government12.71%
Farm12.08%
Health & Education11.08%
Wholesale & Retail Trade5.45%
Leisure4.26%
Professional Services3.63%
Manufacturing3.31%
Construction2.14%
Transportation and Utilities1.44%
Financial Activities0.71%
Information0.30%

The sectors that saw the largest decrease in the period were information (-25%), financial activities (-12.50%) and manufacturing (-5.71%). Looking towards the future, Government, Health and Education and Professional Sectors are forecast to be the fastest growing employment sectors. [54] :8

Agriculture

Madera County is heavily invested in permanent crops, with almonds as the leading commodity, followed by grapes and pistachios. [55] This area also places significant emphasis on cattle ranching and pollination services, particularly for almond cultivation, both ranking among the top five local agricultural sectors. In 2022, Madera County's overall gross crop production was valued at $1.9 billion. The county is renowned for its agricultural prowess, holding state rankings of #1 in fig production, #4 in both almonds and nuts, #4 in grape production (specifically the raisin variety), and #4 in pistachios. [56]

Leading Crops of Madera County [57]
Commodity2022 Rank2022 Dollar Value2021 Rank
Almonds, Nuts & Hulls1$570,739,0001
Milk2$454,727,0002
Grapes3$233,893,0003
Pistachios4$227,873,0004
Pollination5$66,880,0005
Cattle & Calves6$62,317,0006
Mandarins & Tangerines7$45,036,0007
Corn Silage8$37,293,0009
Replacement Heifers9$34,255,0008
Alfalfa, Hay & Silage*10$26,845,000**

In the 1990s Mixtec farmworkers were a large presence in the southern part of the state, and were beginning to filter northwards here along with other Mexican indigenous agricultural laborers to work in the county's farms. [23]

Education

Madera County is mostly covered by the State Center Community College District centered on Fresno City College in Fresno. Other districts with territory within Madera County also include the West Hills Community College District and the Merced Community College District.

School districts include: [58]

Unified:

Secondary:

Elementary:

Government, policing, and politics

Government

The Government of Madera County is mandated by the California Constitution to have a five-member Board of Supervisors elected to staggered four-year terms. The Board of Supervisors: District 1, Brett Frazier; District 2, David Rogers; District 3, Robert Poythress; District 4, Leticia Gonzalez; District 5, Tom Wheeler; and County Administrator, Jay Varney; and staff provide for voter registration and elections, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, roads, and social services for the entire county. It is the local government for all unincorporated areas. Other elected offices include the Sheriff, Tyson Pogue; District Attorney, Sally Orme Moreno; Assessor, Brian Glover (acting); Auditor-Controller, David Richstone; Treasurer-Tax Collector, Tracy Kennedy; and Clerk/Registrar of Voters-Recorder, Rebecca Martinez.

Policing

Madera County Sheriff's Office

The Sheriff's Office and staff provide court protection, jail administration, and coroner service for all of Madera County with its total population of approximately 156,000 residents. The Sheriff provides police patrol and detective services to the unincorporated areas of the county, which contain approximately 70,000 residents, or 45% of Madera County's total population. The Sheriff's main station and offices are in the City of Madera. There are two Sheriff's substations: Oakhurst, population 3,000, and The Madera Ranchos, population 12,000, both on Highway 41 to Yosemite National Park in the Sierras.

Municipal police departments

The municipal police departments within Madera County are Madera, the county seat, population 62,000, and Chowchilla, population 19,600.

Correctional Facilities

Madera County has three correctional facilities. The first is the Madera County Jail, managed by the elected Sheriff. The second, Valley State Prison, is a state-run prison located in Chowchilla. [59] The third, the Central California Women's Facility, is also in Chowchilla, across from Valley State Prison. Inmates are counted in the county's census population.

Politics

Voter registration

Cities by population and voter registration

Overview

Madera is a strongly Republican county in presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976.

United States presidential election results for Madera County, California [62]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 29,37854.68%23,16843.12%1,1862.21%
2016 23,35753.69%17,02939.14%3,1217.17%
2012 22,85257.23%16,01840.11%1,0632.66%
2008 23,58355.52%17,95242.27%9392.21%
2004 24,87164.02%13,48134.70%4981.28%
2000 20,28360.74%11,65034.89%1,4624.38%
1996 16,51053.85%11,25436.70%2,8989.45%
1992 13,06643.20%10,86335.92%6,31620.88%
1988 13,25554.59%10,64243.83%3841.58%
1984 13,95460.04%8,99438.70%2931.26%
1980 10,59953.58%7,78339.35%1,3987.07%
1976 6,84445.96%7,62551.20%4232.84%
1972 7,83552.61%6,58044.18%4773.20%
1968 6,22943.55%6,93248.47%1,1427.98%
1964 4,46132.18%9,39167.75%100.07%
1960 5,86941.75%8,12657.81%620.44%
1956 5,23942.12%7,16257.58%380.31%
1952 6,27849.67%6,24449.40%1180.93%
1948 3,41638.03%5,22658.18%3403.79%
1944 2,86539.85%4,27659.47%490.68%
1940 2,65331.20%5,74967.61%1011.19%
1936 1,38722.61%4,64675.74%1011.65%
1932 1,24325.22%3,45770.15%2284.63%
1928 2,35454.88%1,89644.21%390.91%
1924 1,51842.66%45012.65%1,59044.69%
1920 1,77955.46%1,14535.69%2848.85%
1916 1,32338.01%1,88054.01%2787.99%
1912 10.04%1,15447.71%1,26452.25%
1908 59644.85%57443.19%15911.96%
1904 78451.85%61040.34%1187.80%
1900 76449.58%73747.83%402.60%
1896 45237.32%73961.02%201.65%

Madera is split between the 5th and 13th congressional districts, [63] represented by Tom McClintock ( R Elk Grove ) and John Duarte ( R Modesto ), respectively. [64]

With respect to the California State Assembly, the county is in the 5th Assembly District , represented by Republican Joe Patterson.

In the California State Senate, Madera is split between the 8th Senate District , represented by Democrat Angelique Ashby, and the 12th Senate District , represented by Republican Shannon Grove. [65]

On November 4, 2008, Madera County voted 73.4% for Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. [66]

The county is one of three counties in California to establish a separate department to deal with corrections, pursuant to California Government Code §23013, the Madera County Department of Corrections, along with Napa County and Santa Clara County. The officers receive their powers under 831 and 831.5 of the California Penal Code. [67]

Crime

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Cities by population and crime rates

Attractions

Transportation

Major highways

Areas Inaccessible by Road

Minaret Summit, located on the border between Madera and Mono Counties, is inaccessible by road from the rest of Madera County. Sunset from the Minarets Vista viewpoint near Mammoth Lakes.jpg
Minaret Summit, located on the border between Madera and Mono Counties, is inaccessible by road from the rest of Madera County.

In Madera County, eastern regions such as Devil's Postpile National Monument and part of Minaret Summit are isolated from the rest of the county due to a lack of connecting roads. Access to this area is primarily through Minaret Summit Road, which becomes State Route 203 upon reaching the Mono County border and leads to Mammoth Lakes. Red's Meadow Road is a further extension of this route.

A gap of less than 10 miles (16 km) separates the end of Minaret Road in the Western Sierra, which begins in North Fork and extends northeast into the Sierra, and the terminus of Red's Meadow Road in the Eastern Sierra. In the early to mid-20th century, plans were considered for building a highway or tunnel that would link the Eastern Sierra to the San Joaquin Valley through Minaret Summit. To maintain the feasibility of this project, an area southwest of Minaret Summit was intentionally left out of the Wilderness Act of 1964. This exclusion was aimed at keeping the option open for the construction of a Trans-Sierra Highway.

During his tenure as Governor of California, Ronald Reagan embarked on a horse packing trip in this area. Following this experience, Reagan aligned with conservationists to oppose the construction of the road. His efforts persisted after his election as President in 1980, culminating in the designation of this area as wilderness under the California Wilderness Act of 1984.

Public transportation

Airports

Communities

Aerial view from Madera, California, toward the snow-capped Sierras. Eastman Lake (upper left) is on the border of Madera County and Mariposa County. Hensley Lake (upper right) is near the center of Madera County. Madera Lake (lower left) is on the outskirts of Madera. Hensley Lake and Eastman Lake and Madera Lake.jpg
Aerial view from Madera, California, toward the snow-capped Sierras. Eastman Lake (upper left) is on the border of Madera County and Mariposa County. Hensley Lake (upper right) is near the center of Madera County. Madera Lake (lower left) is on the outskirts of Madera.

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Madera County. [71]

county seat

RankCity/Town/etc.Municipal typePopulation (2010 Census)
1 Madera City61,416
2 Chowchilla City18,720
3 Madera Acres CDP9,163
4 Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos CDP8,569
5 Yosemite Lakes CDP4,952
6 Oakhurst CDP2,829
7 Parksdale CDP2,621
8 Parkwood CDP2,268
9 Ahwahnee CDP2,246
10 Coarsegold CDP1,840
11 Fairmead CDP1,447
12 Rolling Hills CDP742
13 Bass Lake CDP527
14 Nipinnawasee CDP475
15 La Vina CDP279
16 Picayune Rancheria (Chukchansi Indians) [72] AIAN 69
17 Northfork Rancheria (Mono Indians) [73] AIAN60

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.

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Coarsegold, California, is a census-designated place in Madera County, situated in the central part of the state. As of the 2020 census, it had a population of 4,144. Coarsegold holds historical significance as Madera County's last surviving "gold town" and is notable for its Native American heritage, particularly as the headquarters of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, a federally recognized tribe. The community celebrates its frontier culture with annual events such as the Coarsegold Rodeo and the Tarantula Awareness Festival. Positioned between Fresno and Yosemite National Park, the town appeals to both retirees and commuters, thanks to its strategic location along Highway 41.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bass Lake (Madera County, California)</span> Lake

Bass Lake, situated in Madera County, California, within the Sierra National Forest and approximately 14 mi (23 km) south of Yosemite National Park, is a popular recreational area. The lake, formed by the Crane Valley Dam on Willow Creek, a tributary to the San Joaquin River, spans about four miles (6.4 km) in length and one-half mile (0.80 km) in width. Constructed in 1910 by Pacific Gas and Electric, the 145 ft (44 m) concrete gravity dam generates hydro-electric power through controlled releases. The lake supports a diverse ecosystem, including species such as black bears, mule deer, bald eagles, and Great blue herons, along with a variety of fish species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central California</span> Region of California in the United States

Central California is generally thought of as the middle third of the U.S. state, of California, north of Southern California, which includes Los Angeles, and south of Northern California, which includes San Francisco. It includes the northern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, part of the Central Coast, the central hills of the California Coast Ranges and the foothills and mountain areas of the central Sierra Nevada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fish Camp, California</span> Census-designated place in California, United States

Fish Camp is a census-designated place in Mariposa County, California, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) east of Mariposa, at an elevation of 5,062 feet (1,543 m). The population was 49 at the 2020 census. The ZIP Code is 93623, and the community is inside area code 559.

North Fork is an unincorporated community in Madera County, California, United States. As of the 2020 United States census it had a population of 3,250. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined North Fork as a census-designated place (CDP). North Fork is part of the Madera Metropolitan Statistical Area and is home to the tribal headquarters of the Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mariposa War</span> California conflict

The Mariposa War, also known as the Yosemite Indian War, was a conflict between the United States and the indigenous people of California's Sierra Nevada in the 1850s. The war was fought primarily in Mariposa County and surrounding areas, and was sparked by the discovery of gold in the region. As a result of the military expedition, the Mariposa Battalion became the first non-indigenous group to enter Yosemite Valley and the Nelder Grove.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fresno River</span> River in California, United States

The Fresno River is a river in Central California and a major tributary of the San Joaquin River. It runs approximately 83 miles (134 km) from the Sierra Nevada Range to the San Joaquin River if measured from the source of Rainier Creek, near Raymond Mountain in Yosemite National Park. Although called the 'Fresno' River, it is one of the largest and longest river systems in Madera County.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bass Lake, California</span> Census-designated place in California, United States

Bass Lake is a census-designated place in Madera County, California, United States. It is located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) southeast of Yosemite Forks, at an elevation of 3,415 feet (1,041 m). The population was 575 at the 2020 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fairmead, California</span> Census-designated place in California, United States

Fairmead is a census-designated place in Madera County, California, United States. It is located 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Madera, at an elevation of 253 feet (77 m), and bordered to the northwest by Chowchilla. The population was 1,235 at the 2020 census.

Nipinnawasee is a census-designated place in Madera County, California, United States. It is located 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of Miami Mountain in the Sierra Nevada, 14 miles (22.5 km) southeast of Mariposa, at an elevation of 2,930 feet (890 m). The population was 434 at the 2020 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yosemite Lakes Park, California</span> Unincorporated community in California, United States

Yosemite Lakes Park is an unincorporated community in Madera County, California. It lies at an elevation of 1,230 feet (370 m). As a census-designated place (CDP) it is known as Yosemite Lakes. It is part of the Madera Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,022 at the 2020 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians</span>

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California is a federally recognized tribe of indigenous people of California, affiliated with the Chukchansi subgroup of the Foothills Yokuts. The Picayune Rancheria, founded in 1912 and located in Coarsegold, California, covers 160 acres (1 km2) in Madera County and serves as the tribal land.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Madera Sugar Pine Company</span> Defunct logging company in Madera County, California, US

The Madera Sugar Pine Company was a lumber company that operated in the Sierra Nevada region of California during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company distinguished itself through the use of innovative technologies, including the southern Sierra's first log flume and logging railroad, along with the early adoption of the Steam Donkey engine. Its significant regional impact led to the establishment of towns such as Madera, Fish Camp, and Sugar Pine, as well as the growth of Fresno Flats and the formation of Madera County.

Madera County Connection (MCC) is the primary bus agency providing intercity services within Madera County, California. It is operated by the County Department of Public Works and offers four fixed routes connecting the cities of Chowchilla and Madera with Valley Children's Hospital and smaller unincorporated communities in the county. All four routes meet at the same intermodal terminal in downtown Madera, where riders may transfer to Madera Metro intracity buses or Greyhound Lines intercity buses. Passengers may take Madera Metro to the train station and transfer to the Amtrak San Joaquins intercity service connecting the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.

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37°13′N119°46′W / 37.22°N 119.77°W / 37.22; -119.77