The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) is produced by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MRLC). This consortium includes the Bureau of Land Management, National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The MRLC pools resources, expertise, and mapping products to publish NLCD products, which now include 34 different data layers characterizing land cover and land cover change for all 50 States across 8 epochs (calendar years of 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2019). The newest product, NLCD 2019, represents the most rapid turnaround for new land cover mapping products in the program’s history. NLCD produces data layers of percent tree canopy cover in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, and Rangeland Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (RCMAP) products, which categorize and predict rangeland habitat for the western U.S., in collaboration with the BLM. These datasets and other specialized products from consortium partners are combined to provide integrated mapping for the Nation. NLCD is one of the most widely used land cover products with nearly 9,000 research citations and over a million downloads. There are also more than 60 U.S. and world policy citations including power grid planning, endangered species assessment, carbon sequestration, weather prediction, environmental impact statements, disease vectors, water resources, ecosystem health, urban planning, and others that rely on NLCD products. NLCD also provides the base for international collaboration with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in producing a North American land cover map with Canada and Mexico that provides change information on the continental scale.
For more information on NLCD and to download or visualize NLCD change, land cover, or data, visit https://www.mrlc.gov.
MRLC members both contribute to and use NLCD products.