USDA Forest Service

North Central Research Station


North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

(651) 649-5000

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Landscape Change Integrated Program
- Research Focus

[graphic:] Map of seven states in the Midwest region: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illnois, Indiana, and Missouri.

Our research focus is on landscape change issues in the seven States of the Midwest region. These issues are associated with migration and settlement patterns of people across an urban to rural gradient and the impacts of those patterns on our region’s natural resources.

Contemporary patterns of population growth, landownership, and development are changing the landscape of urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the United States.

Although population growth can spur positive economic changes such as more job opportunities, higher property values, and prosperity, it can also have negative consequences for the area’s social, physical, and biological systems.


Stakeholders are concerned about:

Environmental degradation—loss of biological diversity, increased forest fragmentation, reduced quality and quantity of wildlife habitat, reduced air and water quality.

Commodity production—reduced availability of timber and mining resources, greater extraction costs, higher levels of conflict with adjacent landowners.

Community relationships—overcrowding, loss of unique identity and special places, increased conflicts between new and established residents, increased infrastructure costs and planning challenges.

Recreation quality—loss of access to private land, loss of opportunities for solitude, increased conflicts between participants in new and established recreation activities.

Our research provides information relevant to the discussion of four main questions:

1. How is the landscape changing?
2. What drives landscape change?
3. What are the consequences of landscape change?
4. What do we do about it?


USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station
Last Modified: Friday, 16 January 2004

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