Skip to Main Content
Defining the United States land base: a technical document supporting the USDA Forest Service 2020 RPA assessmentAuthor(s): Mark D. Nelson; Kurt H. Riitters; John W. Coulston; Grant M. Domke; Eric J. Greenfield; Linda L. Langner; David J. Nowak; Claire B. O'Dea; Sonja N. Oswalt; Matthew C. Reeves; David N. Wear
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-191.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (4.0 MB)
DescriptionThe Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment uses a combination of land use and land cover data to evaluate trends in the United States land base and project future changes. This publication describes how the RPA Assessment uses the National Resources Inventory, National Land Cover Database, and Forest Inventory and Analysis to support analyses of forest trends. The authors compare and contrast differences in definitions and approaches of these three major data sources and document the recent status and trends of land use and land cover area according to these sources. While the general definitions of land uses and land covers are superficially similar among these sources, understanding the conceptual and technical differences between them is necessary to evaluate and compare trends in the U.S. land base. Some differences can be rationalized based on the sensitivity of the different databases to the underlying drivers of landscape change over time. However, the major difference is the perception of the land base in terms of its intended human use versus its current biophysical cover. The RPA Assessment will continue to use both land use and land cover data separately and in combination because each source offers both unique and complementary perspectives on land base trends.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationNelson, Mark D.; Riitters, Kurt H.; Coulston, John W.; Domke, Grant M.; Greenfield, Eric J.; Langner, Linda L.; Nowak, David J.; O'Dea, Claire B.; Oswalt, Sonja N.; Reeves, Matthew C.; Wear, David N. 2020. Defining the United States land base: a technical document supporting the USDA Forest Service 2020 RPA assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-191. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 70 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-191.
KeywordsResources Planning Act Assessment Assessment, land use, land cover, forest land use, forest land cover
- Wildlife population and harvest trends in the United States: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment
- Management considerations
- Urban and community forests of New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
XML: View XML