Research and Application News
New land cover maps depict 15 years of change across America
20 May 2019
Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the latest edition of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for the U.S. – the most comprehensive land cover database that the USGS has ever produced. The NLCD 2016 documents land cover change in the Lower 48 states from 2001 to 2016. During this 15-year period, 7.6 percent of the conterminous U.S. changed land cover at least once.
"By far the greatest change across the U.S. since 2001 has been in forest lands — comprising about half of all land cover change," said USGS NLCD program manager Collin Homer. "Forest harvest and regrowth in the Southeast, and fire, pests and harvest in the West are the causes."
Image credit: USGS - This map shows land cover in the conterminous U.S. in 2016.