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Knowledge of the San Joaquin soil’s properties and characteristics has become increasingly important in suburban and urban development.
As the science of soil has advanced during this century, the concept of the San Joaquin soil has evolved, but has retained, as distinctive characteristics, its reddish color and its strongly cemented subsoil hardpan that limits root and water penetration.
D., and several other PSSAC members suggested that designating an official State Soil would be a worthwhile goal of the association.
Despite careful research and preparation of appropriate documentation, the proposal did not move forward due to the lack of a legislator interested in seeing the project through the maze of committees and hearings necessary to enact such legislation. Lehman and his students approached Senator Monteith with PSSAC’s already researched “History of the San Joaquin Soil,” “The Origin and Formation of the San Joaquin Soil,” and appropriate maps and soil description.
By the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, this concept was dropped and the Rocklin soil redefined as a reddish hardpan soil having a distinct subsoil above its hardpan, but lacking a clay pan.
The character of the materials beneath the hardpans of either soil was no longer a differentiating feature since consistent determination in mapping was not feasible.
Thus, the San Joaquin soil is the oldest, continuously recognized soil series within the state.At that time it was mapped as San Joaquin sandy loam on the “Red Formation” and characterized as being underlain by a “red sandstone hardpan.” The soil was described as having a hog wallow (mound and swale) relief. The cementing agent for the hard pan was thought to be ferric hydrate with some lime carbonates and probably silica. The San Joaquin soil was next mapped in the Modesto-Turlock Area in 1909 (3) and was described as having a “brick red” surface layer that was underlain by a “ferruginous hardpan” at depths of 15 to 60 inches.A red clay loam layer above the hardpan was recognized. In 1911, the San Joaquin soil was mapped in the Madera Area (4).It took up momentum once again via amendment in the Senate on 3/20/97 and the Assembly on 7/21/97.From there it went to the Governor’s desk and was signed into California Government Code on 8/20/97.