Land Cover Monitoring, United States Affiliated Islands


The United States affiliated islands and territories include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. They spread across a vast geographic area in the Pacific Ocean, and hold unique importance in the dynamic global ecosystems. The natural resources of these islands, including their native forests, are currently under significant pressure and heavy threat from local population growth, landuse and landcover conversion, invasive species, and global climate change. 

As part of a consortium formed by a group of federal, state and local governments and agencies, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, State and Private Forestry and the Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program are leading an effort to map the landcover and monitor its change over time on these pacific islands using geospatial technology and remotely sense data, such as high resolution satellite imagery, with emphasis on the vegetation resources. Completed maps, spatial data, and project reports are directly shared with our partners in the consortium and made available to the general public. These mapping products along with the high resolution source imagery are now being widely used by all levels of governments and agencies as well as many other organizations, providing critical information to support island resource management and ecosystem protection and restoration projects.