NLCD 2021 Now Available

Published Jul 20, 2023

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in association with the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium, is pleased to announce the completion and release of the latest epoch of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for the conterminous U.S.—NLCD 2021. The MRLC, a consortium of federal agencies who coordinate and generate consistent and relevant land cover information at the national scale for a wide variety of environmental, land management, and modeling applications, have been providing the scientific community with detailed land cover products for more than 30 years. Over that time, NLCD has been one of the most widely used geospatial datasets in the U.S., serving as a basis for understanding the Nation’s landscapes in thousands of studies and applications, trusted by scientists, land managers, students, city planners, and many more as a definitive source of U.S. land cover.

RCMAP 1985-2021 Fractional Component Time-Series Now Available

Published Dec 01, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the MRLC consortium and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is pleased to announce the availability of a new generation of Rangeland, Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) fractional component data spanning a 1985-2021 time-series. The new time-series includes yearly cover predictions for 9 components: shrub, sagebrush, non-sagebrush shrub, herbaceous, annual herbaceous, perennial herbaceous, litter, bare ground, and new to this version, tree cover. Trends statistics of the new time-series will be available by Jan 2023. Data are available for download and on the rangelands viewer. The new generation of data update previously released 1985-2020 RCMAP data and are not designed to be backwards compatible (1985-2020 cover predictions are different between versions). While users are encouraged to use the newest generation of data, the previous versions of the time-series data are archived.

Release of RCMAP Time-Series Trends Statistics

Published Aug 02, 2021

RCMAP has released temporal trends for the 1985-2020 fractional component cover time-series. Temporal patterns in each RCMAP component were evaluated with two approaches, 1) linear trends and 2) a structural change method using a temporal moving window to detect “breaks” and “stable states” in pixel values. The structural change method partitions the time-series into segments of similar slope values, with statistically significant break-points indicating perturbations to the prior trajectory. We provide the following statistics: 1) for each component, each year, the presence/absence of breaks, 2) the slope, p-value, and standard error of the segment occurring in each year, 3) the overall model R2 (quality of model fit to the temporal profile), and 4) an index, Total Change Intensity, reflecting the total amount of change occurring across components in that pixel.

Release of a New Rangeland Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) Time-Series Spanning 1985-2020

Published Jun 04, 2021

A new generation of RCMAP fractional component time-series data spanning 1985-2020 are now available for download and on the rangelands viewer. Relative to the prior generation, several key improvements are 1) additional components: perennial herbaceous and non-sagebrush shrub, 2) addition of all available BLM AIM data as training, 3) improved change detection, and 4) better imagery compositing. These factors have led to a ~15% increase in independent accuracy. Additionally, we produce error maps for each component, which reflect model uncertainty. Trends analysis products of the 1985-2020 time-series using both linear and structural change (breaks and stable states) methods will be available by July 2021. While users are encouraged to use the new generation of data, the previous version of the time-series data is archived.

NLCD 2019 Products Now Available

Published Jun 03, 2021

The NLCD 2019 suite of Conterminous U.S. (CONUS) land cover and impervious products have now been released. This release includes eight epochs of land cover (2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2019), a 2001 – 2019 land cover change index, and sixteen urban imperviousness datasets - a percent imperviousness and classified imperviousness matching all years of land cover . The NLCD 2019 and 2021 products for tree canopy cover will be released in the next year. RCMAP rangeland fractional component data including a 1985-2020 time-series, projections of future component cover through the 2080s, and Ecological Potential component cover are also currently available.

Launch of the Rangeland Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) Project and New Generation of Rangeland Fractional Components

Published May 11, 2021

The USGS and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are pleased to announce the launch of the Rangeland Condition Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) project whose flagship product is a fractional component time-series. These data have been previously referred to by several names including “BIT”, “shrub-grass layers”, etc. The RCAMP time-series has been extended to 2020 using improved image composites, change detection, and inclusion of BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) data. We have added two additional components in the current generation; perennial herbaceous and non-sagebrush shrub, in addition to the 6 components mapped previously; shrub, sagebrush, herbaceous, annual herbaceous, litter, and bare ground. The new generation of RCMAP data will be available for static download on and on the Rangelands Viewer in a few short weeks. Once the new generation is uploaded, the previous version of the time-series data will be archived at:

Rangeland Ecological Potential Component Cover, Cover Departure, and Vegetation States – Now Available

Published Apr 15, 2021

The USGS, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, has produced Ecological Potential rangeland fractional cover data for the Western U.S. These products represent the potential cover given the most productive, least disturbed, portion of the 1985-2020 Landsat archive. Contemporary component cover in 2018 was compared to Ecological Potential cover to generate departure maps. Additionally, we converted Ecological Potential and 2018 cover maps into vegetation states. These general vegetation states (native sagebrush steppe, annual grasslands, etc.) highlight locations where vegetation communities have already changed or are vulnerable to future change.

Enhanced Visualization and Analysis (EVA) Tool Now Available

Published Mar 25, 2021

The MRLC Consortium, in collaboration with NOAA and the USGS, is pleased to release version 2 of the Enhanced Visualization and Analysis (EVA) tool. This tool provides users with detailed county statistics for any two NLCD landcover dates to support quick and powerful change analyses. This tool was originally developed by NOAA and shared through the consortium with custom adaptations for NLCD.

Projected NLCD Rangeland Cover Products Through 2080 – Now Available

Published Dec 02, 2020

The USGS, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, has produced projected rangeland fractional cover products for Western U.S. Projected data include three time periods (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) and two climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5). Cover products are available for six components including shrub, sagebrush, herbaceous, annual herbaceous, litter and bare ground.

New Revised (071520) NLCD 2016 Rangeland fractional components now available

Published Aug 10, 2020

The USGS in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management and other MRLC partners has produced these revised NLCD products. Please note these new Revised (071520) rangeland products will differ from the first generation of circa 2016 fractional cover maps, a more aggressive masking of tree canopy cover was applied to each of the nine rangeland components. The component values represent the proportion of each 30 m pixel.