Metadata for Montana Land Cover Framework 2013 Metadata for Montana Land Cover Framework 2013
Identification Information:
Citation:
Originator: Montana Natural Heritage Program
Originator: University of Idaho
Originator: Sanborn
Publication date: 05/2013
Title: Montana Land Cover Framework 2013
Publication place: Montana GIS Portal
Publisher: Natural Resource Information System
Other citation details:
Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP). 2013. Montana Land Cover/Land Use Theme.Helena, Montana.

Abstract:
This statewide land cover theme is a baseline digital map of Montana's natural and human land cover. The baseline map is adapted from the Northwest ReGAP project land cover classification, which used 30m resolution multi-spectral satellite imagery acquired from 2002 through 2005. 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., the National Land Cover Dataset, the National Wetlands Inventory, the National Hydrography Dataset, MSDI Structures and Transportation themes, and the MT. Dept of Revenue Final Land Unit classification) and reclassifications based on plot-level data and NAIP imagery to improve accuracy and enhance the usability of the theme. Additional updates to improve the accuracy are conducted on an annual basis. New MSDI Land Cover themes will be made available through the Montana GIS Portal, hosted by Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) on an annual basis. Additionally, previous versions will be archived and available through the Montana GIS Portal. This version was last updated May 2013.
Purpose:
Originally this land cover classification was an update of the GAP Analysis Program's 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.

Time period of content:
Beginning date: 2002
Ending date: 2013
Currentness reference: ground condition
Status:
Progress: Complete
Maintenance and update frequency: Annually
Access constraints: none
Use constraints:
Use of this grid is not recommended for fine-scale analyses (i.e. less than 1:100,000).
Point of contact:
Linda Vance
Senior Ecologist/Spatial Analysis Lab Director
Montana Natural Heritage Program
1515 East Sixth Ave
Helena, Montana 59602


Telephone: 406-444-3380
Fax: 406-444-0266
E-Mail: livance@mt.gov


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Data Quality Information:
Lineage:
Source information:
Originator:
Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Publication date: various
Title: SSURGO
Other citation details: For specific dates, go to each county/survey area
Online linkage: http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov
Source scale denominator: 24000
Type of source media: shapefile
Source contribution: SSURGO data were used throughout the study area.
Source information:
Originator: Montana Department of Revenue
Publication date: 2010
Title: Revenue Final Land Unit (FLU) Classification
Online linkage: http://nris.mt.gov/nsdi/nris/mdb/revenue_flu.zip
Type of source media: ESRI personal geodatabase
Source contribution:
The Department of Revenue used the 2005 NAIP (1 meter resolution) to produce a fine-scale, detailed layer of data used in property valuation for agriculture and forest land on private properties, the Final Land Unit (FLU) Classification. FLU data were used throughout the study area to improve the Pasture/Hay and Cultivated Cropland classes. Pixels not coded as agriculture in the original landcover layer were reclassified to the closest grassland type.
Source information:
Originator: USGS
Publication date: 2010
Title: High Resolution National Hydrography Dataset
Online linkage: http://nhd.usgs.gov/data.html
Source scale denominator: 24000
Type of source media: ESRI file geodatabase
Source contribution:
The high resolution National Hydrography Dataset was used throughout the study area to reclass pixels as either open or closed depression wetlands.
Source information:
Originator: National Gap Analysis Program
Publication date: 2010
Title: Northwest Gap Analysis Project (REGAP)
Other citation details:
This dataset combines the work of two different projects to create a seamless data set for the contiguous United States. Montana overlaps 7 of these zones (10, 19, 20, 21, 22, 29, 30). NWGAP mapped zones 10, 19 and 21 in western Montana. Sanborn mapped zones 20, 22, 29, 30 in eastern Montana.
Online linkage: ftp://ftp.gap.uidaho.edu/outgoing/National/National_landcover.zip
Source scale denominator: 100000
Type of source media: ERDAS Imagine image file
Source contribution:
Northwest Gap Analysis data were the basis of this land cover layer
Source information:
Originator: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), EROS Data Center
Title: National Elevation Dataset (NED) Digital Elevation Model
Online linkage: http://ned.usgs.gov/
Type of source media: Arc/Info GRID
Source contribution:
The 30 meter resolution US. Geological Survey (USGS) National Elevation Dataset (NED) was used to generate a grid of slope in order to reclass pixels as cliffs and canyons. The NED was also used to define elevations breaks for certain ecological systems throughout the study area.
Source information:
Originator: Natural Resources Conservation Service Montana State Office
Publication date: 05/08/2007
Title: Relative Effective Annual Precipitation for Montana
Online linkage: http://nris.mt.gov/nrcs/reap
Type of source media: ESRI Grid
Source contribution:
The 10 meter resolution Relative Effective Annual Precipitation (REAP) values were used to reclass pixels from 4266 to 4242 (RM Montana Douglas-Fir Forest and Woodland to RM Subalpine Dry-Mesic Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland)
Source information:
Originator: USDA-Farm Services Agency Aerial Photography Field Office
Publication date: 2012
Title:
Montana 2011 National Agricultural Imagery Program 2011 Images
Online linkage: http://nris.mt.gov/nsdi/orthophotos/naip_2011.asp
Type of source media: TIFF
Source contribution:
The 1-meter resolution 2011 NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program) imagery was used throughout the study area to reclass pixels. The Revenue FLU dataset was developed from the 2005 NAIP.
Source information:
Originator: Montana State Library
Publication date: 08/20/2012
Title: Montana Transportation Framework
Online linkage: ftp://ftp.gis.mt.gov/TransportationFramework
Type of source media: ESRI polyline
Source contribution:
The MSDI Transportation Framework (2012) was the basis for the road data represented in land use classes.
Source information:
Originator: Montana State Library
Publication date: 01/30/2013
Title: Montana Structures/Addresses Framework
Online linkage: ftp://ftp.gis.mt.gov/StructuresFramework
Type of source media: Point and vector
Source contribution:
The Montana Structures/Addresses Framework provided the base data for identification of developed lands

Process step:
Modifications to Sanborn classification:
Individual ecological systems were modified as follows (based on L. Vance, S. Cooper, T. Luna, and M. Hart comments):

In all zones: 4238 (SRM dry-mesic mixed conif) reclassed to 4232 (NRM dry-mesic mixed conif); 7119 (SRM montane-subalpine grassland) to 7113 (NRM subalpine-upper montane grassland); and 7122 (WGP shortgrass prairie) to 7114 (NWGP mixedgrass prairie); 4241 (SRM Ponderosa) to 4280 (NWGP - Black Hills Ponderosa); 5426 (NRM Foothill Conif Wooded Steppe) reclassed to 4280 in zones 22, 29, 30; kept as 5426 in zone 20. East of Musselshell River, around Fort Peck Lake: forest reclassed to 5454 (sagebrush steppe) if NLCD = shrub, to 3114 (badland) if NLCD = grassland. North of Road 2: sagebrush steppe (5454) reclassed to 7114 (mixedgrass prairie) if NLCD = grassland. Bur Oak mapped in wrong location, reclassed to 4303 (mountain mahogany). Salt Scrub around Clark Fork Yellowstone (south) reclassed using NLCD. If shrub/scrub, reclassed to 5454 (sagebrush steppe). If agriculture, reclassed to 82. If hay, to 81. If Woody wetland, reclassed to 9326 (NWGP Riparian). If Herbaceous wetland, reclassed to 9218 (open depressional wetland). If herbaceous, reclassed to 3139 (IMB shale badlands). For all zones, Western great Plains Riparian 9329 was reclassed to Northwestern Great Plains Riparian 9326, and WGP Floodplain 9153 was reclassed to NWGP Floodplain 9159.

Additional floodplain modeling was conducted as follows. 27 large rivers were selected and buffered with a 1-km buffer. SSURGO soil polygons characterized as floodplain in the SSURGO Component table (Geomorphic Description field) were selected within the buffer, and NLCD agriculture pixels were removed; remaining NWGP Riparian pixels (9326) were reclassed to 9159 (NWGP Floodplain). Greasewood 9103: corresponding pixels classified as agriculture or urban in NLCD were reclassed. Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland 9155: the NED 30m DEM was used. If elevation <900m in selected ecoregions, pixels were reclassed to 9326 (NWGP Riparian). If 900-1400m they were reclassed to 9156 (RM lower montane-foothill riparian). RM lower montane-foothill riparian 9156: pixels were reclassed to 9326 (NWGP Riparian) if <900m in selected ecoregions. Western Great Plain Saline Depression Wetland 9256: the SSURGO Soil Data Viewer was used to generate a shapefile of representative electrical conductivity (options: used Dominant Component, no % cut-off, tie break = Higher, layer option = All Layers). Polygons with EC >= 6 (moderately-high salinity) were selected. Patches of saline wetlands that were within 100m of a selected polygon were kept. For patches further than 100m of saline soils, high resolution NHD water shapefiles were used to reclass pixels as either open or closed depression wetland. Patches within 30m (1 pixel) distance of a stream were reclassed as Open Wetland (9218), patches further than 30m were reclassed as Closed Wetland (9252). Conversely, if open or closed wetlands were located within 30m of saline soil (EC >=6), they were reclassed to saline wetland (9256).

Montane Sagebrush 5455: elevation from the NED dataset was extracted for pixels classified as montane sagebrush. Pixels with an elevation lower than 4100' (1250m) were reclassed as sagebrush steppe (5454).

Sand Prairie 7121: select SSURGO polygons composed of at least 50% of components associated with sand prairie species (Andropogon hallii, Calamovilfa longifolia, Carex inops spp heliophila, and Panicum virgatum). If pixel = 7121 and SSURGO ge 50% sand prairie, keep as 7121; otherwise reclass as Mixedgrass Prairie 7114. If pixel = 7114 and SSURGO ge 50% sand prairie, reclass as 7121. In addition, polygon distribution of rare sand prairie affiliates were opbtained from the Montann Natural Heritage database and burned onto the grid.

Several exotic vegetation classes (8402 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Shrub; 8404 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Annual Grassland; and 8405 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Perennial Grassland) only showed up as being mapped in a small, 10k buffer along the southeastern bounday of the state (in Big Horn, Powder River, and Carter counties). For consistency, these were removed by reclassifying the grasslands to 7114 (Northwestern Great Plains Mixedgrass Prairie) and the shrubland to 5455 (Inter-Mountain Basins Montane Sagebrush Steppe). Class 8403 (Introduced Upland Vegetation - Forbland) was only mapped in mapzone 20, but in large quantity, so it was not reclassified.
Process step:
ReGap modifications, zones 10-19-21: 9231 was reclassed to 9162 (CP vernal pool to NRM vernal pool); the "quarry" which is in fact Big Sky ski resort was recoded as as RM alpine bedrock and scree (3135); 4303, 5209 and 5454 were reclassed to adjacent pixels in Canadian Rockies and Northern Rockies ecoregion level 3. Western Larch Savanna (ES 4103) was reclassed to NRM Dry-Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest (ES 4232).

The pixel composition for each Omernick level 4 ecoregion was examined by Linda Vance and the following corrections were made:
15h: 4302 to 4104, 7112 to 7113, 5312 to 5263
41c: 4266 to 4242 (for elevations greater than 1720 meters)
41b: 4302 to 4104, 4303 to 5326; 5312 to 5326 if above 1980m (6500'); 7112 to 7113 if above 1525m (5000');
4266 to 4242 if less than 100cm REAP, to 4243 if more; 9256 to nearest neighbors (predominantly alpine fell-fields);
agriculture (81 and 82) to 7112 if below 5000', 7113 if above.
42q: 5326 to 5312, 7113 to 7112, if below 1525m (5000'); 9103 to 9256; 4233, 4242 and 4243 to 4232 (all pixels below 6000').
42r: 4233, 4242 and 4243 to 4232; 5209 to 5455; 5326 to 5312; 7113 to 7112.
41a: 4266 to 4234.
42o: 4104 to 4302, 4242 to 4266, 5209 to 5262, 9253 to 9259 (Missouri River floodplain).
17r: 5209 to 5455
15c: 4242 and 4243 to 4232; 9256 to 9222.
41d: 5209 to 5455.
43n: 4242 and 4243 to 4266; 4303, 5203 and 5209 to 5263; 7118 to 7112.
15o: 4302 to 4104.
41e: 4302 to 4104; 9256 to 9187.
15e: 4302 to 4104.
15b: 4302 to 4104.
43m: 4242 and 4243 to 4266.
43o: 9153 to 9326.
17x: 3114 to 3129; 9256 to 9162.
17p: 9256 to 9171.
17q: 9256 to adjacent pixels.
17ak: 3114 to 3129.
17v: 3114 to 3129; 9256 to adjacent pixels.
15p: 4302 to 4104; 4303 to adjacent pixels.
43s: 3114 to 3129; 7121: to 7112 if SSURGO soil has less than 50% sand (unless if within 100m of sandy soil); 9256 to 9218; 9153 to 9159; 9329 to 9326.
17s: 9256 to 9155.
43u: 9111 to adjacent pixels.
17aj: 3114 to 3129; 5262 to 5263; 9111 9155.
17w: 3114 to 3173; 4242 and 4243 below 1525m (5000ft) to 4266; 9111 to 9155.
43t: 9103 and 9111 to adjacent; 9153 to 9159.
17h: 4232 to 4242; 7112 to 7113; 9256, 81 and 82 to adjacent pixels.
15a: 4303 and 9256 to adjacent pixels.
16h: 81 to 9217; 4266 to 4242; 4302 to 4104; 5312 to 5326; 7112 to 7113; 9256 to 9217.
16e: 23 and 24 to 7113; 4302 to 4104; 9256 to 11.
17ai: 3114 to 5455; 9256 to 11.
17am: 3114 to 5455; 9256 to 9222.
17f: 5262, 5263 and 9256 to adjacent pixels; 7114 to 7113.
16a: 9256 to adjacent pixels.
17g: 3114 to 31; 7121 to 7112; 9111 to 9171; 9231 to 11.
17ag: 3114 to 3129; 3130 to 7116; 9256 to 9217.
17ac: 3114 to 5455; 5454 to 5455; 9256 to 9217.
17aa: 3114 to 3173; 4243 and 4242 to 4232 when below 1525m (5000'); 9111 to 9156; 9256 to 11, 31 or 9217 (based on proximity).
17ah: 3114 to 3129.
17i: 3114 (scattered pixels) to adjacent pixels or 3129 (based on NAIP); 4328 to 9156; 7121 to 7112.
17l: 21 to 22 (roads); 81 and 82 to adjacent pixels; 7114 to 7113; 9256 to 9171.
17z: 81 and 82 to adjacent pixels.
17ae: 3114 to 5455; 9111 to 4243.
17u: 21 to 22; 3114 and 7114 to 7112; 5262 to 5263; 4242 and 4243 to 4232; 4328, 9111 and 9256 to adjacent pixels.
17e: 3114 to adjacent pixels.
18b: 4242 and 7113 to adjacent pixels.
17d: 81 and 82 to 7118.
17k: 21 to 22; 4303 to 5455.
17ao: 21 and 3114 to 22; 4303 to 5455; 7112 to 7113.
The modified grids were used to update Western MT and merged with Eastern MT.
Process step:
Statewide improvements:
Cliffs and canyons:
The 30m NED DEM was used to compute a grid of slope. Cliff pixels were added as follows:
* In forested areas, slope pixels greater or equal to 50 degrees were reclassed as cliffs and canyons;
* In non-forest areas, slope pixels greater or equal to 40 degrees were reclassed as cliffs and canyons;
* In SSURGO polygons identified as rock outcrops, rubble land, or welded tuff, all non-forest pixels not classified as alpine vegetation (deciduous shrubland, montane sagebrush, big sagebrush, and foothill grassland) were reassigned to a cliffs and canyons ecological system.
* The new cliff and canyon pixels were assigned to ecological systems based on their location, elevation, and neighboring pixels:
- In MRLC zones 20, 29 and 30, code to 3142 (NWGP Cliffs and Outcrops)
- In MRLC zones 10, 19, 21 and 22, code to 3129 (RM Cliff, Canyon, and Massive Bedrock) for elevation below 2300m; and to 3135 (RM Alpine Bedrock and Scree) for elevation above 2300m.
(MRLC = Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium; zones refer to the NLCD 2001 mapping zones:http://www.mrlc.gov/nlcd_multizone_map.php)
Agriculture and pasture/hay:
The Department of Revenue used the 2005 NAIP to produce a fine-scale, detailed layer of data used in property valuation for agriculture and forest land on private properties, the Final Land Unit (FLU) Classification. Polygons with a LType code H (non-irrigated hay land) and I (irrigated land), F (sumemr fallow farmland) or C (continuously cropped) were selected, recoded to 81 (Pasture/Hay) or 82 (Cultivated Cropland), converted to rasters, and used to improve the landcover grid. Pixels coded as agriculture in the original landcover, but not in the FLU layer, were reclassed to the closest grassland type using the ArcGIS Nibble command.
Process step:
Statewide improvements 2012:
1. Large river valley bottoms: Thirty-one large river valley bottoms (see list eblow) were delineated onscreen at 1:10,000 using NAIP imagery and contours derived from a 10m DEM and used to extract 4-band, 1-m resolution, 2011 imagery. Large rivers were those rivers represented by double lines on the High Resolution National Hydrography Dataset, minus "wadeable" rivers (based on field knowledge). The NAIP imagery was segmented in eCognition 4.0 and 8.7 using a scale setting of 200 (Missouri and Yellowstone) or 100 (all other rievrs) and a shape setting of 0.2 (all rivers).

River-specific training points were digitized onscreen for each othe following vegetation classes:
Upland emergent
riparian emergent
riparian shrub-scrub
upland shrub-scrub (if present)
open forest
closed forest
water
sandbar
Russian olive (if present).

The number of training points ws dictated by river size and within-class variability. If possible, a minimum of 150 points per class was digitizied. If upland shrub-scrub and Russian olive were present along a river but rare, their distribution was not modeled but was added through post-modeling using onscreen reclassification of the polygons. Classification was done in Weka using the RandomForest algorithm with a setting of 200 trees. A Pseudo-NDVI was computed from the NAIP bands 1 and 4 and used for classification, along with attributes of the 4 NAIP bands.

Post modeling was done in ArcGIS 10 and included "burning in" the Department of Revenue FLU agriculture layer; reclassifying tree shadows from water to forest; reclassifying bright upland patches from sand bar to upland emergent; doing a visual check of any polygon with a classification accuracy lower than 30%; and reclassifying polygons as Russian Olive and Upland Shrub-Scrub if these two classes has been too sparsely present in the valley bottom to be modeled.

In addition, roads were extracted from the 2010 MSDI Transportation Framework dataset, and structures were extracted from the 2011 MSDI Structures Framework dataset. We buffered highways by 20m, other roads by 10m, and structures by 15m before converting to raster data, and these were then "burned in" to the 1m grid. To update the Landcover layer, resulting 1m grids were resampled to 30m and crosswalked to the ecological systems classification used in the Legend.

Riparian shrub-scrub, riparian emergent, open and closed forests and sand bar pixels were reclassed as Great Plains Floodplain, Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland or Rocky Mountrain Lower Montana-Foothill Woodland and Shrubland, depending on their location. Water was reclassified as Open Water. Russian olive was reclassified as Introduced Riparian and Wetland Vegetation. Roads and structures were reclassified as Developed, Medium Intensity.

In eastern Montana, upland emergent pixels became Great Plains Mixed Grass Prairie, unless they overlapped a SSURGO polygon coded as suitable for sand-specific species (i.e., 50% of the SSURGO polygon made up of soil components associated with Andropogon hallii, Calamovilfa longifolia, Carex inops sp. Heliophila, and Panicum vargatum), in which case they were reclassed as Great Plains Sand Prairie.

In western Montana, upland emergent was reclassed as Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Foothill and Valley Grassland; upand shrub-scrub was reclassified as Sagebrush Steppe; irrigated agriculture, summer fallow and small grains became Cultivated Crops; and hay/pasture was reclassified to Pasture/Hay. Pixels classified as cliffs in the Landcover grid were left unchanged, unless the 1m mapping labeled them as water or agriculture. Pixels classified as Badland were left unchanged if mapped as emergent or shrub-scrub vegetation.

The large rivers included in the 2012 changes were the Judith, Marias, Milk, Missouri, Sun, Big Horn, Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone, Little Missouri, Little Powder, Musselshell, Powder, Shields, Smith, Tongue, Yellowstone, Beaverhead, Big Hole, Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Clark Fork, Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison, Ruby, Flathead, Kootenai, Swan, Stillwater, South Fork of the Flathead, Middle Fork of the Flathead and North Fork of the Flathead.
Process step:
2013 Changes.
1. Development was updated on a county-by-county basis. After extracting landcover for a given county, a ?Shrink? command was applied to replace pixels of Developed Open Space, Developed Low Intensity, and Developed Medium Intensity with their nearest neighbors.

2. Updated development pixels were generated as follows: Cadastral data were downloaded from the Montana Cadastral website: http://svc.mt.gov/msl/mtcadastral/. For each county, the file geodatabase was downloaded and the Ownerparcel file added to an ArcGIS mxd project. Parcel attributes were extracted from the ORION_SQLDatabases folder and opened in SQL Server Management Studio. Selection queries were done on five tables: ClassCodes (agricultural/forested characteristics), Com (commercial descriptors), ConservationEasement, Res (residential descriptors), and Property (general location description, e.g., industrial, neighborhood, rural). These queries were exported as .csv files, imported as geodatabase tables, and linked to parcels. A Summary attribute was added to the Ownerparcel file and filled with a combination of descriptors. Parcel acreage was computed and parcels were split into 3 size classes: lesser or equal 2 acres, 2-10 acres, and greater than 10 acres. A coding system was developed to assign a code to each parcel based on its size and descriptor summary: a. Developed, Open Space: rural utilities (e.g. electrical tower, water structures); golf course; cemetery; city parks and other urban green areas (such as school track fields); vacant land urban, smaller or equal to 2 acres; single family residential housing on parcels 2 to 10 acres.
b. Low Intensity Residential: single family residential or mobile home on parcels lesser or equal to 2 acres.
c. High Intensity Residential: multi-family residential, condominiums, mobile home parks, churches if mostly paved or in residential setting, schools, retirement homes, on parcels up to 10 acres.
d. Commercial/Industrial: businesses, industrial parks, hospitals, airports; utilities in commerial/industrial areas.
For parcels greater than 10 acres and composed of a mix of developed and natural/semi-natural landcover classes, points from the 2012 Structure Framework layer were extracted, buffered by 45m, and coded as b, c, or d.
A visual check was conducted at various scales (finer for densely populated areas, larger for more sparsely populated places) and parcel coding was adjusted to reflect information provided by the NAIP 2012 imagery. For example, buffering a structure by 45m to represent a large supermarket will under-represent development, yet coding the entire parcel (if it is very large) as Commercial/Industrial may over-represent it. In such a situation, editing was done and the parcel split to better reflect the amount of development actually present.Similarly, little cadastral information was available for tribal lands, and buffered structures did not always represent the true amount of development. A fine-scale visual check was conducted to better attribute parcels on tribal lands.
Finally, coded parcels were converted to raster.

3. Roads and railroads were extracted from the latest transportation framework geodatabase (08/20/2012), clipped to each county boundary, and converted to raster. Four categories were used: Railroad, Interstate, Major Roads (including interstate ramps, non NHS interstates, and primary and secondary roads, as labeled in the ?Roadtype? attribute), and Other Roads (Roadtype = City/County or Urban). When converted to raster, interstates were expanded by 1 pixel (making them 3 pixel wide, vs 1 pixel for all other roads).

4. Because cadastral parcels may overlap rivers and lakes, and may not represent agricultural areas as well as the Department of Revenue FLU data, these two classes were extracted from the existing Landcover grid and spuerimposed over the new development layer.

5. Development pixels were added to the ?development-free? landcover (see Step 1) in the following order: water > railroad > Interstates > other roads > agricultural > cadastral > landcover. If a cadastral parcel contained several structures of different types, priority was set as Commercial/Industrial > High Intensity Residential > Low Intensity Residential.

6. All 56 counties were processed as above and mosaicked back together.

7. Oil and Gas development was extracted from the Montana Board of Oil and Gas GIS layer (updated as of 01/22/2013). Based on the attributes, the following types of extractions were selected and added to the 2013 Landcover layer:
Coal Bed Methane (value 311)
Gas and Gas Storage (value 312)
Injection (value 313)
Oil and Oil and Gas (value = 314)
Only active, producing, or approved wells were included.
Wind turbine locations were obtained from the FAA Obstruction Evaluation/Airport Airspace Analysis website (as of April 2012). The layer was obtained by Scott Story (MT FWP) and reviewed to include only built turbines. Value = 410

8. Fire perimeters were displayed on top of 2011 NAIP imagery, reviewed by trained image analysts, and modified to better match burns still showing since the fires took place. Although most forest fires do not yet show enough regrowth to be reclassed from Burned to Forest, many grassland fires have reverted to a grassland stage. For shrubland and grassland fires that have regenerated, pixels were reclassified based on neighboring pixels. In the case of forest fires, we used surrounding pixels in the case of homogeneous forest types (e.g., ponderosa pine), but we used forest pixels from the 2006 NLCD Landcover layer in areas of mixed forest types that were already classified as Burned in the 1998 Montana Gap Analysis layer.

9. A trained image analyst used the 2011 NAIP imagery to visually check single, isolated pixels of North American Alpine Ice Field (ESLF 3130) and Rocky Mountain Cliff, Canyon and Massive Bedrock (ESLF 3129). Misclassified pixels were changed to the correct ESLF.

10. As a consequence of updating human land use in the 2013 version of the Landcover, level 2 "Mining" was renamed "Mining and Resource Extraction" to encompass four new Sname classes ("Coal Bed Methane", "Gas and Gas Storage", "Injection", and "Oil and Oil and Gas"). In addition, "Wind Turbine" was added to the legend (Level 2: Developed, Level 1: Human Land Use).
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Spatial Data Organization Information:
Raster object information:
Raster object type: Pixel
Row count: 24008
Column count: 33005
Vertical count: 1
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Spatial Reference Information:
Horizontal coordinate system definition:
Grid coordinate system name: State Plane Coordinate System
SPCS zone identifier: 2500
Lambert conformal conic:
Standard parallel: 45.000000
Standard parallel: 49.000000
Longitude of central meridian: -109.500000
Latitude of projection origin: 44.250000
False easting: 600000.000000
False northing: 0.000000
Planar distance units: meters
Geodetic model:
Horizontal datum name: North American Datum of 1983
Ellipsoid name: Geodetic Reference System 80
Semi-major axis: 6378137.000000
Denominator of flattening ratio: 298.257222
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Entity and Attribute Information:
Entity type label: VAT_msdi_land_cover_2013

Attribute label: OBJECTID
Attribute definition: Internal feature number.
Attribute domain:
Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

Attribute label: VALUE
Attribute definition: Arbitrary value for display purposes

Attribute label: COUNT
Attribute definition: Pixel Count - The number of 30 m X 30 m pixels per class

Attribute label: ESLF_CODE
Attribute definition:
ESLF Code used to identify the Ecological System or land use class that is specific to Montana


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
0 Background
11 Open Water
21 Developed, Open Space
22 Developed, Low Intensity
23 Developed, Medium Intensity
31 Quarries, Strip Mines and Gravel Pits
311 Coal bed methane
312 Gas and Gas Storage
313 Injection
314 Oil and Oil and Gas
410 Wind turbine
81 Pasture/Hay
82 Cultivated Crops
3114 Great Plains Badlands
3129 Rocky Mountain Cliff, Canyon and Massive Bedrock
3130 Alpine Ice Field
3135 Alpine Bedrock and Scree
3139 Shale Badland
3142 Great Plains Cliff and Outcrop
3160 Active and Stabilized Dune
3173 Wyoming Basic Cliff and and Canyon
4104 Aspen Forest and Woodland
4232 Rocky Mountain Dry-Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest
4233 Rocky Mountain Subalpine Woodland and Parkland
4234 Rocky Mountain Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest
4236 Rocky Mountain Foothill Limber Pine-Juniper Woodland
4237 Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine Forest
4240 Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Woodland and Savanna
4242 Rocky Mountain Subalpine Dry-Mesic Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland
4243 Rocky Mountain Subalpine Mesic Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland
4266 Rocky Mountain Montane Douglas-fir Forest and Woodland
4267 Rocky Mountain Poor Site Lodgepole Pine Forest
4280 Great Plains Ponderosa Pine Woodland and Savanna
4302 Aspen and Mixed Conifer Forest
4303 Mountain Mahogany Woodland and Shrubland
4328 Great Plains Wooded Draw and Ravine
5000 Geysers and Hot Springs
5203 Mat Saltbush Shrubland
5207 Alpine Dwarf-Shrubland
5209 Low Sagebrush Shrubland
5257 Big Sagebrush Shrubland
5258 Mixed Salt Desert Scrub
5262 Great Plains Shrubland
5263 Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Shrubland
5312 Rocky Mountain Montane-Foothill Deciduous Shrubland
5326 Rocky Mountain Subalpine Deciduous Shrubland
5426 Rocky Mountain Foothill Woodland-Steppe Transition
5454 Big Sagebrush Steppe
5455 Montane Sagebrush Steppe
7112 Rocky Mountain Lower Montane, Foothill and Valley Grassland
7113 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Upper Montane Grassland
7114 Great Plains Mixedgrass Prairie
7116 Alpine Fell-Field
7117 Alpine Turf
7118 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Mesic Meadow
7121 Great Plains Sand Prairie
8402 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Shrub
8403 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Annual and Biennial Forbland
8404 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Annual Grassland
8405 Introduced Upland Vegetation - Perennial Grassland and Forbland
8406 Introduced Riparian and Wetland Vegetation
8501 Recently burned forest
8502 Recently burned grassland
8503 Recently burned shrubland
8601 Harvested forest-tree regeneration
8602 Harvested forest-shrub regeneration
8603 Harvested forest-grass regeneration
9103 Greasewood Flat
9111 Rocky Mountain Conifer Swamp
9155 Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
9156 Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
9159 Great Plains Floodplain
9162 Rocky Mountain Wooded Vernal Pool
9171 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland
9187 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrubland
9203 Great Plains Prairie Pothole
9217 Alpine-Montane Wet Meadow
9218 Great Plains Open Freshwater Depression Wetland
9222 Emergent Marsh
9234 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Fen
9252 Great Plains Closed Depression Wetland
9256 Great Plains Saline Depression Wetland
9326 Great Plains Riparian

Attribute label: LEVEL1
Attribute definition:
Landcover class generally based on vegetative physiognomy (i.e. grassland, shrubland, forest), but also include aquatic and alpine cover classes, as well as human land uses.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
Human Land Use Developed areas in rural or urban settings (including roads), strip mines and gravel pits, and agricultural lands.
Recently Disturbed or Modified Recently burned or harvested vegetation, and introduced upland and riparian vegetation.
Sparse and Barren Systems Badlands, dunes, and cliffs and canyons, that are characterized by sparse vegetation or are unvegetated. Abiotic substrate features dominant. Vegetation is scattered to nearly absent and generally restricted to areas of concentrated resources (total vegetation cover is typically less than 25% and greater than 0%).
Alpine Systems Barren substrate or herbaceous and low shrubby vegetation above mountain timberline.
Forest and Woodland Systems All natural forest and woodland systems, with the exclusion of riparian systems.
Shrubland, Steppe and Savanna Systems All natural shrub/scrub systems, with the exclusion of alpine and riparian systems. Shrubland: Shrubs generally greater than 0.5m tall with individuals or clumps overlapping to not touching (generally forming more than 25% cover, trees generally less than 25% cover). Shrub cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively. Vegetation dominated by woody vines is generally treated in this class. Dwarf shrubland: Low-growing shrubs usually under 0.5 m tall. Individuals or clumps overlapping to not touching (generally forming more than 25% cover, trees and tall shrubs generally less than 25% cover).
Grassland Systems All natural herbaceous systems, with the exclusion of alpine and riparian systems. Herbaceous: Herbs (graminoids, forbs, and ferns) dominant (generally forming at least 25% cover; trees, shrubs, and dwarf-shrubs generally with less than 25% cover). Herb cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Open Water/Wetland and Riparian Systems Natural systems located in areas where the soil or substrate is periodically saturated with or covered with water.

Attribute label: LEVEL2
Attribute definition:
Landcover subclass values at the intermediate level of classification that incorporates information on elevation and climate.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
Open Water All areas of open water, generally with less than 25% cover of vegetation or soil.
Developed Developed, Open Space - areas with a mixture of some constructed materials, but mostly vegetation in the form of lawn grasses. Impervious surfaces account for less than 20 percent of total cover. These areas most commonly include large-lot single-family housing units, parks, golf courses, and vegetation planted in developed settings for recreation, erosion control, or aesthetic purposes. Developed, Low Intensity - areas with a mixture of constructed materials and vegetation. Impervious surfaces account for 20-49 percent of total cover. These areas most commonly include single-family housing units. Developed, Medium Intensity - areas with a mixture of constructed materials and vegetation. Impervious surfaces account for 50-79 percent of the total cover. These areas most commonly include single-family housing units.
Mining Strip mines and gravel pits
Agriculture Summer fallow farmland, a method of farming in arid and semi-arid areas without using irrigation which consists of cultivating a given area in alternate years (usually every other year), allowing moisture to be stored in the un-cropped (fallow) year. Even if grain crops are occasionally sequenced with alfalfa or other nitrogen fixing crops, the land will be classified as fallow if grain is the principle crop. Continuously cropped, a method of farming without irrigation in which crops are grown a majority of the time as part of a normal farming practice. Christmas tree plantation and fruit orchards are classified as continuously cropped farmland. Non-irrigated hay land, a method of farming whereby hay is cut a majority of the years. Native vegetation cut for hay yearly or majority of the time over a period of years. Non-irrigated alfalfa and other domestic varieties cut for hay yearly or the majority of the time. Irrigated land, a method of farming that uses man-made water delivery systems to apply water to hayland or cropland to increase production. All hay land and cropland that is irrigated a majority of the time over the long term.
Cliff, Canyon and Talus Barren and sparsely vegetated landscapes (generally <10% plant cover) of steep cliff faces, narrow canyons, and smaller rock outcrops of various igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic bedrock types. Also included is vegetation of unstable scree and talus slopes that typically occurs below cliff faces.
Bluff, Badland and Dune Badlands and inland dunes composed of barren and sparsely vegetated substrates.
Alpine Grassland and Shrubland Herbaceous and low shrubby vegetation above mountain timberline. Herbaceous - Herbs (graminoids, forbs, and ferns) dominant (generally forming at least 25% cover, trees, shrubs, and dwarf-shrubs generally with less than 25% cover). Herb cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and nonvascular cover, respectively. Shrubland - Shrubs generally greater than 0.5 m tall with individuals or clumps overlapping to not touching (generally forming more than 25% cover, trees generally less than 25% cover). Shrub cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Alpine Sparse and Barren Barren or sparsely vegetated substrate above mountain timberline. Sparse Vegetation: Abiotic substrate features dominant. Vegetation is scattered to nearly absent and generally restricted to areas of concentrated resources (total vegetation cover is typically less than 25% and greater than 0%).
Conifer-dominated forest and woodland (xeric-mesic) Natural coniferous forest and woodland systems occurring in moderately moist to moist conditions. Evergreen - Greater than 75% of the total woody cover is never without green foliage. Forest - Trees with their crowns overlapping (generally forming 60-100% cover). Woodland - Open stands of trees with crowns not usually touching (generally forming 25-60% cover). Canopy tree cover may be less than 25% in cases where it exceeds shrub, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Deciduous dominated forest and woodland Natural deciduous forest and woodland systems, with the exception of riparian systems. Deciduous - Greater than 75% of the total woody cover sheds its foliage imultaneously in connection with the unfavorable season. Forest - Trees with their crowns overlapping (generally forming 60-100% cover). Woodland - Open stands of trees with crowns not usually touching (generally forming 25-60% cover). Canopy tree cover may be less than 25% in cases where it exceeds shrub, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Mixed deciduous/coniferous forest and woodland Natural forest and woodland systems composed of a mixture of coniferous and deciduous species. Mixed evergreen-deciduous - Evergreen and deciduous species generally contribute 25-75% of the total woody cover.Forest - Trees with their crowns overlapping (generally forming 60-100% cover).Woodland - Open stands of trees with crowns not usually touching (generally forming 25-60% cover). Canopy tree cover may be less than 25% in cases where it exceeds shrub, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Deciduous Shrubland Native, non-riparian deciduous shrubland. Shrubland - Shrubs generally greater than 0.5 m tall with individuals or clumps overlapping to not touching (generally forming more than 25% cover, trees generally less than 25% cover). Shrub cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, dwarf-shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively. Vegetation dominated by woody vines is generally treated in this class.
Scrub and Dwarf Shrubland Native, non-riparian scrub and dwarf shrubland not dominated by Artemisia spp. Dwarf-shrubland - Low-growing shrubs usually under 0.5 m tall. Individuals or clumps overlapping to not touching (generally forming more than 25% cover, trees and tall shrubs generally less than 25% cover). Dwarfshrub cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, shrub, herb, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Sagebrush-dominated Shrubland Artemisia-dominated shrubland and dwarf-shrubland
Sagebrush steppe Artemisia-dominated steppe (between 10% and 40% shrub cover).
Lowland/Prairie Grassland Low elevation grassland systems. Herbaceous - Herbs (graminoids, forbs, and ferns) dominant (generally forming at least 25% cover, trees, shrubs, and dwarf-shrubs generally with less than 25% cover). Herb cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Montane Grassland Grassland systems occurring from lower montane to upper montane-subalpine elevations. Herbaceous - Herbs (graminoids, forbs, and ferns) dominant (generally forming at least 25% cover, trees, shrubs, and dwarf-shrubs generally with less than 25% cover). Herb cover may be less than 25% where it exceeds tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and nonvascular cover, respectively.
Recently burned Recently burned forest, shrubland or grassland systems.
Harvested forest Recently cut forest systems with grass, shrub or tree regeneration
Introduced Vegetation Introduced upland and riparian communities dominated by invasive alien species. Though these communities are often casually considered as "planted/cultivated," they are spontaneous, self-perpetuating, and not the (immediate) result of planting, cultivation, or human maintenance. Land occupied by invasive communities is generally permanently altered (converted) unless restoration efforts are undertaken
Depressional Wetland Wetland ecological systems were defined following a non-regulatory definition for wetlands, emphasizing three important attributes: (1) the hydrology is such that there is some degree of flooding or soil saturation; (2) the vegetation is composed of plants adapted to grow in water or in a soil or substrate that is occasionally oxygen deficient due to saturation (hydrophytes); and (3) the soils are those saturated long enough during the growing season to produce oxygen-deficient conditions in the upper part of the soil, which commonly includes the major part of the root zone of plants (hydric soils).
Floodplain and riparian Flood plain - (bottomland) The nearly level alluvial plain that borders a stream and is subject to inundation under flood-stage conditions unless protected artificially. It is usually a constructional landform built of sediment deposited during overflow and lateral migration of the stream. Riparian: A narrow zone of habitats, which may or may not be vegetated, directly associated with streamsides or lake shores, or similar immediately adjacent habitat.
Forested marsh Ecological systems characterized by woody vegetation that is 6 m tall or taller, occurring on poorly drained soils that are saturated year-round or may have seasonal flooding in the spring .
Herbaceous Marsh The Emergent Wetland Class is characterized by erect, rooted, herbaceous hydrophytes, excluding mosses and lichens. This vegetation is present for most of the growing season in most years. These wetlands are usually dominated by perennial plants. All water regimes are included except subtidal and irregularly exposed .
Bog or Feb Wetlands with peat or muck substrate resulting from unusual water chemistry; includes areas of highly mineralized groundwater discharge (e.g., many fens) as well as sterile rainwater catch-basins (e.g., many bogs) and other peatlands.
Wet meadow An herbaceous wetland dominated by plants rooted in occasionally flooded soils.

Attribute label: Level 3
Attribute definition:
Montana specific Ecological System Name. Value at the most detailed level of classification that contains Montana-specific Ecological Systems and land use classes.

Entity and attribute overview:
Definitions for landuse codes follow NLCD 2001 and National ReGAP. The ecological system definitions were originally developed by NatureServe and then modified by MTNHP to better match Montana vegetation.
Entity and attribute detail citation:
NLCD 2001: http://www.epa.gov/mrlc/classification.html
NatureServe: http://www.natureserve.org/library/usEcologicalsystems.pdf
Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, M. Pyne, M. Reid, K. Schulz, K. Snow, and J. Teague. 2003. Ecological Systems of the United States: A Working Classification of U.S. Terrestrial Systems. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia.
MTNHP: a link to detailed description of ecological systems in Montana can be found at http://fieldguide.mt.gov/displayES_LCLU.aspx
Unless otherwise noted, definitions follow the International Classification of Ecological Communities:
Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States: Volume I; (http://www.natureserve.org/library/vol1.pdf)
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Distribution Information:
Distributor:
Montana State Library
P.O. Box 201800
Helena, MT 59620-1800


Telephone: 406-444-5355
E-Mail: geoinfo@mt.gov


Resource description: Offline data


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Metadata Reference Information:
Metadata date: 05/11/2013
Metadata contact:
Linda Vance
Senior Ecologist
Montana Natural Heritage Program
1515 East Sixth Ave
Helena, MT 59601


Telephone: 406-444-3380
E-Mail: livance@mt.gov


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