Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Rangeland Condition Monitoring Assessment and Projection, 1985–2021

January 26, 2023

The Rangeland Condition Monitoring Assessment and Projection (RCMAP) project quantifies the percentage cover of rangeland components across the western United States using Landsat imagery from 1985 to 2021. The RCMAP product suite consists of nine fractional components: annual herbaceous, bare ground, herbaceous, litter, nonsagebrush shrub, perennial herbaceous, sagebrush, shrub, and tree, in addition to the temporal trends of each component. Several enhancements were made to the RCMAP process relative to prior generations. First, we have trained time-series predictions directly from 331 high-resolution sites collected from 2013 to 2018 and additional field data; for example, Bureau of Land Management Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring instead of using the 2016 “base” map as an intermediary. This removes one level of model error and allows the direct association of high-resolution derived training data to the corresponding year of Landsat imagery. Neural network models have replaced Cubist models as our classifier. Continuous Change Detection and Classification synthetic Landsat images were obtained for six monthly periods for each region and were added as predictors. These data enhance the phenologic detail of imagery, improving discrimination among components. Postprocessing has been improved with updated fire recovery equations stratified by ecosystem resistance and resilience classes. Additionally, postprocessing has been enhanced through a revised noise detection model, based on third order polynomial models for each component and each pixel. These data can be used to answer critical questions regarding the effect of climate change and the suitability of management practices. Component products can be downloaded from the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium website at

Publication Year 2023
Title Rangeland Condition Monitoring Assessment and Projection, 1985–2021
DOI 10.3133/fs20233004
Authors Matthew B. Rigge
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2023-3004
Index ID fs20233004
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse