Login Contact
Glossary Definition
Find a Species Booklet
Find a specific species by name or taxonomic group.
Glossary Definition
Species Report
Run pre-made reports that search based on one or two fields.
Glossary Definition
Database Query
Run custom reports that search on up to eight commonly-used fields.
Glossary Definition
Power Search
Run custom reports that search on any of the BISON-M database fields.
  Home About Partners Disclaimer Privacy Policy Links State Map Help




User Information

Data Center


Home > Code Tables > Code Table List

Code Table List

Land Use / Land Cover Codes

 EDIT Urban or Built-up LandComprised of areas of intensive use with much of the land covered by structures. Included in this category are cities, towns, villages, strip developments along highways, transportation, power, and communications facilities, and areas such as those occupied by mills, shopping centers, industrial and commericial complexes, and institutions that may be isolated from Urban areas.
 EDIT ResidentialUses range from high density, represented by the multiple-unit structures of urban cores, to low density, where houses are on lots of more than an acre, on the periphery of urban expansion.
 EDIT Commercial and ServicesCommercial areas are those used predominantly for the sale of products and services.
 EDIT IndustrialInclude a wide array of land uses from light manufacturing to heavy manufacturing plants.
 EDIT Transportation, Communication, & UtilitiesThis land use occurs to some degree within all of the other Urban or Built-up catagories and actually can be found within many other categories.
 EDIT Industrial and Commercial ComplexesIncludes those industrial and commercial land uses that typically occur together or in close functional proximity. Such areas commonly are labeled with terminology such as "Industrial Park".
 EDIT Mixed Urban or Built-up LandUsed for a mixture of Level II Urban or Built-up uses where individual uses cannot be separated at mapping scale. Where more than one-third intermixture of another use or uses occurs in a specific area, it is classified as Mixed Urban or Built-up land.
 EDIT Other Urban or Built-up LandTypically consists of uses such as golf driving ranges, zoos, urban parks, cemetaries, waste dumps, water-control structures and spillways, the extensive part of such uses as golf courses and ski areas, and undeveloped land within an urban setting. Open land may be in very intensive use but a use that does not require structures such as playgrounds, botanical gardens, or arboreta.
 EDIT Agricultural LandLand used primarily for production of food and fiber.
 EDIT Cropland and PastureCropland harvested, including bush fruits; cultivated summer-fallow and idle cropland; land on which crop failure occurs; cropland in soil-improvement grasses and legumes; cropland used only for pasture in rotation with crops; and pasture on land more or less permanently used for that purpose.
 EDIT Orchards, Grove, Vineyard, Nurseries, etc.Orchards, groves, and vineyards produce the various fruits and nut crops. Nurseries and horticultural areas, which include floricultural and seed-and-sod areas and some greenhouses, are used perennially for those purposes. Tree nurseries which provide seedlings for plantation forestry are also included here.
 EDIT Confined Feeding OperationsAre large, specialized livestock production enterprises, chiefly beef cattle feedlots, dairy operations with confined feeding, large poultry farms, and hog feedlots. These operations have large animal populations restricted to relatively small areas. The result is a concentration of waste material that is an environmental concern. The waste-disposal problems justify a separate category for these relatively small areas. Excluded are shipping corrals and other temporary holding facilities.
 EDIT Other Agricultural LandInclude farmsteads, holding areas for livestock such as corrals, breeding and training facilities on horse farms, farm lanes and roads, ditches and canals, small farm ponds, and similar uses.
 EDIT RangelandRangeland historically has been defined as land where the potential natural vegetation is predominantly grasses, grasslike plants, forbs, or shrubs and where natural herbivory was an important influence in its precivilization state.
 EDIT Herbaceous RangelandEncompasses lands dominated by naturally occurring grasses and forbs as well as those areas of actual rangeland which have been modified to include grasses and forbs as their principal cover, when the land is managed for rangeland purposes and not managed using practices typical of pastureland. It includes the tall grass (or true prairie), short grass, bunch grass or palouse grass, and desert grass regions.
 EDIT Shrub and Brush RangelandThe typical shrub occurrences are found in those arid and semiarid regions characterized by such xerophytic vegetative types with woody stems as big sagebrush, shadscale greasewood, or creosotebush and also by the typical desert succulent xerophytes, such as the various forms of Cactus. Where highly alkaline soils are present, halophytes such as desert saltbush (Atriplex) may occur. Also included in this category are chaparrel, mountain mahogany and scrub oaks (Quercus). The eastern brushland are typically former croplands or pastureland which now have grown up in brush so that they are not identifiable as cropland or pasture from remote sensor imagery.
 EDIT Mixed RangelandWhen more than one-third intermixture of either herbaceous or shrub and brush rangeland species occurs in a specific area, it is classified as Mixed Rangeland. Mixtures of herbaceous and shrub or brush tundra plants are not considered Rangeland.
 EDIT Forest LandForest Lands have a tree-crown areal density (crown closure percentage) of 10 percent or more, are stocked with trees capable of producing timber or other wood products, and exert an infleunce on the climate or water regime.
 EDIT Deciduous Forest LandAll forested areas having a predominance of trees that lose their leaves at the end of the frost-free season or at the beginning of a dry season. Deciduous forest types characteristic of Wetland, such as tupelo (Nyssa) or cottonwood (Populus deltoides) are not included in this category.
 EDIT Evergreen Forest LandAll forested areas in which the trees are predominantly those which remain green throughout the year. Both coniferous and broad-leaved evergreens are included in this category. Evergreen species commonly associated with Wetland, such as tamarack (Larix laricina) or black spruce are not included in this category.
 EDIT Mixed Forest LandWhen more than one-third intermixture of either evergreen or deciduous species occurs in a specific area, it is classified as Mixed Forest Land.
 EDIT WaterThe delineation of water areas depends on the scale of data presentation and the scale and resolution characteristics of the remote sensor data used for interpretation of land use and land cover. For many purposes, agencies need information on the size and number of small wter bodies. These can be obtained from small-scale remote sensor data with considerable accuracy.
 EDIT Streams and CanalsIncludes rivers, creeks, canals, and other linear water bodies. Where the water course is interrupted by a control structure, the impounded area will be placed in the Reservoirs category. The boundary between streams and other bodies of water is the straight line across the mouth of the stream up to 1 nautical mile. Beyond that limit, the classification of the water bodies changes to the appropriate category. (ie. Bay, Lake, etc.)
 EDIT LakesLakes are nonflowing, naturally enclosed bodies of water, including regulated natural lakes but excluding reservoirs. Islands that are too small to delineate should be included in the water area.
 EDIT ReservoirsReservoirs are artificial impoundments of water used for irrigation, flood control, municipal water supplies, recreation, hydroelectric power generation and so forth.
 EDIT WetlandWetlands are those areas where the water table is at, near, or above the land surface for a significant part of most years. The hydrologic regime is such that aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation usually is established, although alluvial and tidal flats may be nonvegetated. (ie. marshes, mudflats, swamps, wet meadows, playas, etc.)
 EDIT Forested WetlandForested Wetlands are wetlands dominated by woody vegetation. These include seasonally flooded bottomland hardwood, mangrove swamps, shrub swamps, and wooded swamps including those around bogs.
 EDIT Nonforested WetlandNonforested Wetlands are dominated by wetland herbaceous vegetation or are nonvegetated. These wetlands include tidal and nontidal fresh, brackish, and salt marshes and nonvegetated flats and also freshwater meadows, wet prairies, and open bogs.
 EDIT Barren LandBarren Land is land of limited ability to support life and in which less than one-third of the area has vegetation or other cover. In general, it is an area of thin soil, sand, or rocks. Land may appear barren because of man's activities. When neither the former nor the future use can be discerned and the area is obviously in a state of land use transition, it is considered to be Barren land, in order to avoid inferential errors.
 EDIT Dry Salt FlatsDry Salt Flats occurring on the flat-floored bottoms of interior desert basins which do not qualify as Wetland are included in this category.
 EDIT BeachesBeaches are the smooth sloping accumulations of sand and gravel along shorelines. The surface is stable inland, but the shoreward part is subject to erosion by wind and water and to deposition in protected areas.
 EDIT Sandy Areas other than BeachesSandy Areas other than Beaches are composed primarily of dunes - accumulations of sand transported by the wind. Sand accumulations most commonly are found in deserts although they also occur on coastal plains, river flood plains, and deltas and in periglacial environments.
 EDIT Bare Exposed RockIncludes areas of bedrock exposure, desert pavement, scarps, talus, slides, volcanic material, rock glaciers, and other accumulations of rock without vegetative cover, with the exception of such rock exposures occurring in tundra regions.
 EDIT Strip Mines, Quarries, and Gravel PitsThose extractive mining activities that have significant surface expression are included in this category. Vegetative cover and overburden are removed to expose such deposits as coal, iron ore, limestone, copper, sand or gravel, etc.
 EDIT Transitional AreasThis category is intended for those areas which are in transition from one land use activity to another. All that actually can be determined in these situations is that a transition is in progress, and inference about past or future use should be avoided.
 EDIT Mixed Barren LandUsed when a mixture of Barren Land features occurs and the dominant land use occupies less than two-thirds of the area.
 EDIT Tundra Land: All ClassesTundra is the term applied to the treeless regions beyond the limit of the boreal forest and above the altitudinal limit of trees in high mountain ranges.
 EDIT Tundra Land: Shrub BrushConsists of the various woody shrubs and brushy thickets found in the tundra environment. These occur in dense-to-open evergreen and deciduous thickets.
 EDIT Tundra Land: HerbaceousHerbaceous Tundra is composed of various sedges, grasses, forbs, lichens, and mosses, all of which lack woody stems.
 EDIT Tundra Land: Bare GroundThis category is intended for those tundra occurrences which are less than one-third vegetated. It usually consists of sites visually dominated by considerable areas of exposed bare rock, sand, or gravel interspersed with low herbaceous and shrubby plants.
 EDIT Tundra Land: WetWet Tundra is usually found in areas having little topographic relief. Standing water is almost always present during months when temperatures average above the freezing level. Numerous shallow lakes are also common. Permafrost is usually close to the surface, and various patterned ground features may be evident.
 EDIT Tundra Land: MixedWhere more than one-third intermixture of another use or uses occurs in a specific area, it is classified as Mixed Tundra.
 EDIT Snow or Ice: All ClassesCertain lands have a perennial cover of either snow or ice because of a combination of environmental factor which cause these features to survive the summer melting season. In doing so, they persists as relatively permanent features on the landscape and may be used as environmental surrogates.
 EDIT Snow or Ice: Perrenial SnowfieldsPerennial Snowfields are accumulations of snow and firn that did not entirely melt during previous summers. Snowfields can be quite extensive and thus representative of a regional climate, or can be quite isolated and localized, when they are known by various terms, such as snowbanks.