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Montana and Landsat

June 8, 2022

The landscapes beneath Montana’s big sky are as breathtaking as the State’s nickname would suggest. Visitors to the 41st State's "Big Sky Country" can take in the stunning icy hues of aquamarine at Glacier National Park; explore the northern swaths of Yellowstone National Park; or hike, bike, or boat through Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, and those are just the National parks.

Montana is the fourth-largest State by land area, with miles upon miles of forests, rolling prairie rangelands, croplands, badlands, and mountains, from which flow a sizable part of the Nation’s water supply. The headwaters of the Missouri River, which covers 2,341 miles before merging with the Mississippi River, are located in Three Forks, Montana. On the opposite side of the Continental Divide, the Kootenai, Clark Fork, Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Flathead Rivers flow across Montana and into the Columbia River, which ultimately empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The Treasure State’s cherished landscapes face many threats, however: fire-fueling invasive grasses, increasing temperatures caused by climate change, shifting land use patterns, water supply contractions, and more. The U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellite program’s imagery can improve Montanans’ understanding of land change and offer valuable insight for the ranchers, farmers, land and resource managers, firefighters, and urban planners.

Publication Year 2022
Title Montana and Landsat
DOI 10.3133/fs20223041
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2022-3041
Index ID fs20223041
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center