MRLC News

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.

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: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9C9O66W

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. 

All New MRLC Rangeland Viewer Released

Published Jul 17, 2020

The MRLC Rangeland Viewer provides a dynamic platform for visualization and comparison of multi-temporal geospatial data of shrub and grassland ecosystems in the Western U.S. and supports custom data subsetting and downloads.

Historical NLCD Rangeland Cover Products Now Available

Published Jun 11, 2020

The USGS, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, has produced historical NLCD Rangeland products for Western U.S. for 1985-2018. Cover products are available for six components including shrub, sagebrush, herbaceous, annual herbaceous, litter and bare ground.

NLCD 2016 Alaska Products Now Available

Published Apr 15, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in collaboration with the MRLC consortium has released a new generation of National Land Cover Database (NLCD) products for Alaska. The 2016 Alaska Landcover includes new impervious and developed features across the state as well as updated change information products for all years. Alaska tree canopy products for the state were previously released by the U.S. Forest Service. All land cover, imperviousness and tree canopy products are now available for download here.

New NLCD 2016 Results Paper Published

Published Mar 05, 2020

A new paper entitled, "Conterminous United States Land Cover Change Patterns 2001-2016 from the 2016 National Land Cover Database," has just been published in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. This paper describes the production and land change results from NLCD 2016 land cover products, and will serve as the primary citation for these products.