The National Land Cover Database (NLCD)

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The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) is produced by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MRLC). This consortium includes the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The consortium pools resources, expertise, and mapping products to publish NLCD. NLCD products include nearly 20 years of land cover change, developed impervious surface change, and associated change metrics and descriptive layers for all 50 States. In collaboration with the USFS, NLCD produces percent tree canopy cover, and in collaboration with the BLM, NLCD produces RCMAP (Rangeland Condition, Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection) products, which categorize and predict rangeland habitat for the western U.S. These and other specialized products from consortium partners are joined 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 900 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 in producing a North American land cover map with Canada and Mexico that provides change information on the continental scale. 

NLCD partners and products.

Disclaimer: Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Author Name
Jon Dewitz
Author Email