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Land-cover change research at the U.S. Geological Survey-assessing our nation's dynamic land surface

September 20, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed an unprecedented, 27-year assessment of land-use and land-cover change for the conterminous United States. For the period 1973 to 2000, scientists generated estimates of change in major types of land use and land cover, such as development, mining, agriculture, forest, grasslands, and wetlands. To help provide the insight that our Nation will need to make land-use decisions in coming decades, the historical trends data is now being used by the USGS to help model potential future land use/land cover under different scenarios, including climate, environmental, economic, population, public policy, and technological change.