Mapping land cover and land cover change are important, especially for land managers who protect natural lands and generate restoration projects. Accurate land cover assessment of rangelands can be difficult because the spectral difference between plant species may be minimal. The goal of this research is to map the land cover in the Tensleep Preserve and highlight change that has occurred over the past twenty-three years using the Feature Analyst extension. The land cover change map will highlight significant changes and Feature Analyst will accurately identify different land covers using historical aerial photographs and ground truthing data collected in 2013.

Owned by the Nature Conservancy, the Tensleep Preserve includes 10,088 acres of mixed ecosystems in the foothills of Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains and has a unique floral and faunal history. Ungulates use the property as a corridor for migration routes and Canyon Creek provides fresh water along a twelve mile stretch. This rangeland is rich in biodiversity because its remarkable topography offers abundant habitats. Understanding the land cover trends that have occurred over time is needed to restore natural habitats and protect endemic plant species. The final analysis will document change over the past two decades and give management a decision making tool for current and future projects.


Cynthia Miller

Committee Member

Fei Yuan

Committee Member

Ginger Schmid

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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