A tale of two land uses in the American West: rural residential growth and energy development

Publication Information

Author(s):
Timothy J. Assal
Jessica M. Montag
Publication Date: 2012
Tags: Journal of Maps

This paper describes a spatiotemporal land use map for a rural county in the western United States. Sublette County, Wyoming has undergone recent land use change in the form of heightened rural residential development on private land and increased energy development on both public and private land. In this study we integrate energy production data, population census data, ownership parcel data, and a series of Landsat Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper scenes (over a 25-year period) to create a map that illustrates the changing landscape. Spatial change on the landscape is mapped at 30 square meters, congruent with a Landsat pixel. Sublette County has a wealth of wildlife and associated habitat which is affected by both types of growth. While we do not attempt to quantify the effect of disturbance on wildlife species, we believe our results can provide important baseline data that can be incorporated into land use planning and ecological-wildlife research at the landscape scale.

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