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Central Wyoming Land Cover, Change Detection, and Snow Mapping Project for the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

Project Dates:
1 July 2006 - 31 December 2009

Funding Sponsor:
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

Principal Investigator:
Eli Rodemaker

Co-Principal Investigators:
Ken Driese, Jeff Hamerlinck

Project Report:
University of Wyoming Central Wyoming Remote Sensing Project Final Report (pdf)

Project Description:
The Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC), funded by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and USDI-Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service, USDI-Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Chicago Botanical Gardens is conducting an extensive mapping project for Western and Central Wyoming. Employing a collaborative implementation approach the project entails three major mapping goals; current land use and land cover distribution, modeling of snow cover distribution for high and average snow accumulation winters, and spatially explicit land use and land cover change detection. Mapping goals are divided into three overall project areas with initial emphasis on Southwest Wyoming including the Upper Green River Basin, then the Wind River Basin, and finally the Bighorn Basin. Synopses of project goals are described in the following paragraphs.

Land Cover and Land Use Mapping: Project efforts initially are focused on an eastern area of the Upper Green River Basin within Sweetwater County. Other areas within the Upper Green have been mapped by BLM. Building on concepts employed in mapping areas of Southeast Wyoming the team endeavors to create a map suitable for multiple land management activities including habitat distribution and assessment. Mapping techniques rely on concepts of potential natural vegetation modeling modified with the current condition perceived by the Landsat imagery. Further, the field reference sampling protocol seeks to improve knowledge of the ecological systems and associated vegetation communities within Wyoming, as well as land use pattern and impact. Vegetation mapping is performed by combining terrain analysis techniques with the biophysical properties or condition sensed by the Landsat imagery. Land use mapping employs a myriad of GIS, photo-interpretation and remote sensing techniques. The protocols are heavily field sample based in order to develop statistics describing the range of terrain and vegetation types and conditions, including estimates of vegetated cover. By developing the classification categories and populating the necessary statistical inferential knowledge from ground reference (inventory) the project employs a ‘bottom-up' protocol. Each field visitation site catalogs spatial description, terrain information (including Munsell soil color), floristic typing and abundance, as well as perceivable disturbance and impact from natural or man-made occurrences. Spatially explicit GIS data, tabular data, and site digital photographs embody a field reference site dataset. From this sample dataset, statistics of environmental gradients and terrain features, as well as spectral properties from the remotely sensed imagery are compiled. These statistics are then modeled into a spatially explicit representation of land cover types and vegetation abundance (%cover/closure).
Finally, products from previous classifications were cross-walked into the new classification scheme identified from field sampling to provide synoptic coverage of the Upper Green River Basin and BLM management districts for the Kemmerer, Rock Springs, Pinedale, and Rawlins Field Office areas.

Change Detection: Change analysis is being performed to help identify areas undergoing natural and man-made change. Using a time series of Landsat imagery at 30m spatial resolution the project will identify areas experiencing disturbance or changes in vegetation abundance. Change will be mapped on a five year time step starting in 1985 proceeding to present (%7e2005/2006). Therefore change maps will be produced for the periods; 1985 to 1990, 1990 to 1995, 1995 to 2000, and 2000 to present.

Snow Cover Mapping: Landsat imagery was identified for two snow conditions; a period of average snow cover and high snow cover. Time periods were identified using Snow-Tel observation stations and deviation from 30 year normal and visual interpretation of atmospherically clear and available imagery dates identified from Snow-Tel. The selected imagery will be transformed into a spectral index of snow cover and binned into categories of no, full, and partial snow cover of vegetation/substrate. Top of page


Publications:
Redemaker, E.L., and Driese, K.L. Mapping Land Cover Types Using Remote Sensing, GIS and Aerial Photography for the SW Wyoming, Pinedale and Green River Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regions. Final Report to: Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 7 May 2007.

Montane Land Cover: Pixel Level

 Land Cover Montane: Pixel Level

 Land Cover Montane: Pixel Level

Montane Land Cover Types
01.10.1 Lodgepole Pine 20-32% closure
01.10.2 Lodgepole Pine 33-67% closure
01.10.3 Lodgepole Pine >67% closure
01.20.2 Douglas Fir 33-67% closure
01.20.3 Douglas Fir >67% closure
01.30.2 Spruce-Subalpine Fir 33-67% closure
01.30.3 Spruce-Subalpine Fir >67% closure
01.60.1 Limber Pine 20-32% closure
01.60.2 Limber Pine 33-67% closure
01.61.1 Limber Pine-Douglas Fir 20-32% closure
01.61.2 Limber Pine-Douglas Fir 33-67% closure
01.61.3 Limber Pine-Douglas Fir >67% closure
01.70.1 Whitebark Pine 20-32% closure
01.70.2 Whitebark Pine 33-67% closure
01.90.1 Mixed Conifer-Dominant 20-32% closure
01.90.2 Mixed Conifer-Dominant 33-67% closure
01.90.3 Mixed Conifer-Dominant >67% closure
01.94.2 Conifer-Aspen 33-67% closure
02.10.2 Aspen 33-67% closure
02.10.3 Aspen>67% closure
02.20.2 Aspen-Conifer Mix 33-67% closure
03.21 Juniper-Sage
05.13.1 Mountain Big Sagebrush 5-15% closure
05.13.2 Mountain Big Sagebrush 16-25% closure
05.13.3 Mountain Big Sagebrush >25% closure
05.14 Black Sagebrush
05.15 Mountain Silver Sagebrush
05.16 Wyoming Three-tip Sagebrush
05.17 Alkali/Early Sagebrush
05.41 Bitterbrush-Sagebrush
05.33 Fringed Sage
06.10 Willow
06.20 Willow upland
07.30.1 Foothills Grassland 7.5-20% cover
07.30.2 Foothills Grassland 21-40% cover
07.40.2 Alpine Grassland 21-40% cover
07.60 Riparian/Wet Meadow
10.10 Water-Lentic or Standing
12.40 Rock or Talus Slope
12.80 Snow

 


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