The primary object of this project is to produce a uniform, consistent, fine-resolution Ecological Classification System (ECS) dataset for Nebraska and Kansas. The goal is to have a hierarchical landcover that accurately maps terrestrial upland habitats to the ecological systems level (National Vegetation Classification System-NVCS Alliance level 2016) and wetlands to National Wetlands Inventory (USFWS 2016) class level, while incorporating the Terrestrial Ecological Systems and Natural Communities of Nebraska (Rolfsmeier and Steinauer 2010) as well as possible.
Mapping at this level will provide critical information for conservation planning, project review, development of species distribution models, and development of Decision Support Tools to guide on-the-ground conservation delivery. Mapping at this level would also be consistent with the landcover datasets that have been developed for Texas (Diamond and Elliott 2010) and Oklahoma (Diamond and Elliott 2015), in partnership with the Great Plains LCC. Consistent landcover data across the Great Plains would ensure that accurate and applicable landscape conservation design products could be developed to guide future actions of our partnerships.