Montana Land Cover Framework 2016 (file geodatabase) MSDI

Data Provider Montana Natural Heritage Program
University of Idaho
Date 2002 - 2016
Content Type Downloadable data
MSDI Framework Land Use / Land Cover
Abstract This statewide land cover theme is a baseline digital map of the natural and human land cover of Montana. The baseline map is adapted from the Northwest ReGAP project land cover classification, which used 30m resolution multi-spectral satellite imagery acquired between 1999 and 2001. Vegetation classes were drawn from the Ecological System Classification developed by NatureServe (Comer et al. 2003). The land cover classes were developed by Anderson et al. (1976). The NWGAP effort encompasses 12 map zones. Montana overlaps seven of these zones. The two NWGAP teams responsible for the initial land cover mapping effort in Montana were Sanborn and NWGAP at the University of Idaho. Both Sanborn and NWGAP employed a similar modeling approach in which Classification and Regression Tree (CART) models were applied to Landsat ETM scenes. The Spatial Analysis Lab within the Montana Natural Heritage Program was responsible for developing a seamless Montana land cover map with a consistent statewide legend from these two separate products. Additionally, the Montana land cover layer incorporates several other land cover and land use products (e.g., MSDI Structures and Transportation themes and the Montana Department of Revenue Final Land Unit classification) and reclassifications based on plot-level data and the latest NAIP imagery to improve accuracy and enhance the usability of the theme. Updates are done as partner support and funding allow, or when other MSDI datasets can be incorporated. Recent updates include fire perimeters and agricultural land use (annually), energy developments such as wind, oil and gas installations (2012); roads, structures and other impervious surfaces (various): and local updates/improvements to specific ecological systems (e.g., Central Montana grassland and sagebrush ecosystems.) New MSDI Land Cover themes will be made available through the Montana Geographic Information Clearinghouse, hosted by Montana State Library (MSL) on an annual basis. Additionally, previous versions will be archived and available. This version was last updated December 2015.
Purpose Originally this land cover classification was an update of the Gap Analysis Program mapping and assessment of biodiversity for the five-state region encompassing Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Specifically, the primary objective of the update was to identify biotic elements that are underrepresented on lands managed from their long term conservation. Additionally, the updated Montana land cover layer may be used for analyses at the regional, sub-regional, and landscape levels; it may also provide support for management disciplines, including timber, wildlife, fisheries, and recreation.
Supplemental Information
Use of this grid is not recommended for fine-scale analyses (i.e. less than 1:100,000).
Data Access
Distributor Montana State Library
P.O. Box 201800
Helena, MT 59620-1800
Telephone: 406-444-5355
Distribution liability
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Metadata date 04/2016

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