Impacts of land-cover change on the national parks of the Northeast Temperate Network

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



In this project we quantified changes in land-cover types associated with the increase in human development within and surrounding the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN) parks of the National Park Service (NPS). The study areas comprised approximately 7,000 km2 which included eight National Park units and ten segments along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Land-cover types at each site, including park properties and within a 5-km buffer around each site, were determined for three time periods of early 1970's, mid 1980's, and early 2000's, using Landsat MSS, TM, and ETM+ imagery. An extensive library of more than 2,800 geo-referenced digital photographs was compiled from our field surveys in August 2003 and June 2004. Ancillary GIS data collected from the States and the National Park Service, historical orthophotographs, and in-the-field verification were among reference data that supported our decisions during supervised, unsupervised, and stratified land-cover classifications of Landsat data. Evidence of various land-cover changes was found and the impacts of changes on the NETN parks and neighboring protected lands were identified. The project findings provide quantitative data as one of the vital signs for the NPS Monitoring and Inventory Program to identify and prioritize ecosystem stressors caused by human encroachment adjacent to parks, and for the development and implementation of a long-term monitoring program.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Annual Conference of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 2006: Prospecting for Geospatial Information Integration



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