We used the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to evaluate how different residual forage dry matter (RDM) levels affect erosion potential in rangelands across California. The model was adapted to operate in a geographic information system (GIS) to model 14.8 million acres (6.0 million hectares) of land. Average erosion potential was low among all RDM scenarios and increased from an estimated 0.05 ton per acre per year (0.11 megagram per hectare per year) with the high RDM scenario to 0.12 ton per acre per year (0.27 megagram per hectare per year) with the low RDM scenario. Considering all RDM scenarios, fewer than 174,733 acres (70,710 hectares, or 1.2% of land) had erosion potential that exceeded soil loss tolerance values. Although achieving a uniform RDM target across a landscape may be an oversimplification of reality, simulations suggest that erosion potential on average is low in California's annual rangelands across high, moderate and low RDM recommendations. Moreover, our findings indicate that grazing management (maintaining moderate or high RDM) to mitigate erosion can be effective when targeted at areas of high vulnerability.