Guadalupe Mountains National Park Land Cover Mapping Project

Beginning in 2005, EDAC in conjunction with Natural Heritage New Mexico mapped the land cover of the 86,000 acre Guadalupe Mountains National Park in western Texas.  A diverse range of environments are found in the park from the gypsic dunes and alkali playas on the west side, to the oak scrubland on the east side, to the montane conifer forests in the peaks that rise 4,000 feet above the basin floor.  The mapping process combined multi-temporal, moderate spatial resolution satellite imagery with digital ortho-photos along with field plot data to detect and classify the different mixes of plant cover types. The resulting map grouped the hundreds of separately identified vegetation communities found at the park into almost 70 separate land cover types.  The resulting map provides the US Park Service with a data source to aid in their management of park resources and a baseline from which to compare future changes.