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Status and trends of land change in the Great Plains of the United States--1973 to 2000

September 3, 2015


U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Professional Paper 1794–B is the second in a four-volume series on the status and trends of the Nation’s land use and land cover, providing an assessment of the rates and causes of land-use and land-cover change in the Great Plains of the United States between 1973 and 2000. Volumes A, C, and D provide similar analyses for the Western United States, the Midwest–South Central United States, and the Eastern United States, respectively. The assessments of land-use and land-cover trends are conducted on an ecoregion-by-ecoregion basis, and each ecoregion assessment is guided by a nationally consistent study design that includes mapping, statistical methods, field studies, and analysis. Individual assessments provide a picture of the characteristics of land change occurring in a given ecoregion; in combination, they provide a framework for understanding the complex national mosaic of change and also the causes and consequences of change. Thus, each volume in this series provides a regional assessment of how (and how fast) land use and land cover are changing, and why. The four volumes together form the first comprehensive picture of land change across the Nation.


Geographic understanding of land-use and land-cover change is directly relevant to a wide variety of stakeholders, including land and resource managers, policymakers, and scientists. The chapters in this volume present brief summaries of the patterns and rates of land change observed in each ecoregion in the Great Plains of the United States, together with field photographs, statistics, and comparisons with other assessments. In addition, a synthesis chapter summarizes the scope of land change observed across the entire Great Plains of the United States. The studies provide a way of integrating information across the landscape, and they form a critical component in the efforts to understand how land use and land cover affect important issues such as the provision of ecological goods and services and also the determination of risks to, and vulnerabilities of, human communities. Results from this project also are published in peer-reviewed journals, and they are further used to produce maps of change and other tools for land management, as well as to provide inputs for carbon-cycle modeling and other climate change research.

This report is only one of the products produced by USGS on land-use and land-cover change in the United States. Other reports and land-cover statistics are available online at

Publication Year 2015
Title Status and trends of land change in the Great Plains of the United States--1973 to 2000
DOI 10.3133/pp1794B
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1794
Index ID pp1794B
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center