Series: Vegetation Mapping in the American Southwest
Vegetation reflects the environmental characteristics of an area, as well as current and historical land use. Vegetation is a primary resource of the landscape; it forms habitat for animal species and background for human activities. The description and classification of vegetation types has been accompanied by attempts to understand and to map their distribution.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service (NPS) formed the USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program in 1994 (now called the USGS-NPS Vegetation Characterization Program) to cooperatively inventory and map vegetation in more than 280 national parks across the United States. Read more
Chapter 2: Vegetation Mapping in the American Southwest - The National Vegetation Classification System
In order to create accurate and useful vegetation maps, park managers must share a common, comprehensive system for classifying different vegetation communities. Read more
In order to ensure consistency between vegetation maps from numerous parks, the NPS and USGS have established a standard mapping methodology. Read more
species abundance and distribution, as well as associated data on topography and environment, in formats that readily inform planning decisions, assist research projects, and improve resource management. Read more
The USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program seeks to provide baseline ecological data for park resource managers, obtain data that can be examined in a regional and national context, and provide opportunities for future inventory, monitoring, and research activities. Read more