USDA Forest Service

NCRS - The Changing Midwest Assessment

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North Central Research Station
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
5985 Highway K
Rhinelander, WI 54501

(715) 362-7474

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Picture to represent Landcover section

Landscape Change
Percent Change to Forest
Percent Change to Urban
Hotspots of Change

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Area of Forest
Tree Volume on Timberland
Tree Size Class
Forest Ownership
Oak Decline
Oak Mortality

Picture to represent Human Demographics/ Attitudes and Infrasturcture section

Population Density
Housing Density
Seasonal Housing Density
Income from Recreation
Income from Wood Products
Road Density

Picture to represent Plants and Animals section

Deer Harvest: Total
Deer Harvest: Antlered
Relative Abundance of Birds
Insect Defoliators & Exotics



As the saying goes, "The only thing that is constant is change." This is certainly true of the 7 Midwestern States that make up the North Central Region of the USDA Forest Service. In fact, virtually all aspects of the physical and social landscapes of the Region are characterized by change.

The purpose of this site is to describe the spatial distribution, direction and intensity of the changes that have occurred on the biophysical and social landscapes of the Region over the past two decades. Specifically, we have mapped change in Land Cover, Forest Characteristics, Plants and Animals, and Human Demographics. The Land Cover section describes changes in the amount and distribution of the major land cover types in the Region (i.e., Agriculture, Forestland, and Urban). The Forest Characteristics section provides a comprehensive account of change in Forests by Forest Type Group, including change in Area, Volume, Structure, Composition, and Ownership. The Plants and Animals section describes change in the relative abundance of species of special concern. And the Human Demographics section describes change in population, housing and seasonal housing density, and personal income.

Currently, an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the North Central Research Station and collaborating universities is working to identify the ecological, economic, and social drivers and consequences of change.

Ultimately, our goal is to develop interactive, spatially explicit, web-based models that the public and public officials can use to visualize changes that are likely in the future given a range of alternative ecological, economic, and social scenarios.

Publications and Products

*Browse the geospatial data layers created for the Changing Midwest Assessment using interactive mapping tools

*The Changing Midwest Assessment: land cover, natural resources, and people.

*The Changing Midwest Assessment: companion GIS and data CD.

USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station
Last Modified: May 12, 2004

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