Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Center for American Progress' "Disappearing West" series chronicles land use changes

Earlier this week, the Center for American Progress released a huge web-based project, called "Disappearing West," with lots of maps, data, and videos that illustrate the changing nature of land use in the west.  It is well worth spending some time with.  The link to the home page is here.  From the report:

A team of scientists at the nonprofit Conservation Science Partners, or CSP, analyzed nearly three dozen datasets; a dozen types of human activities; and more than a decade of satellite imagery for 11 western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Here is what they found: Human development in the West now covers more than 165,000 square miles of land. That is roughly the size of 6 million superstore parking lots.

This development is growing fast. Between 2001 and 2011, natural areas in the West—including forests, wetlands, deserts, and grasslands—were disappearing at the rate of one football field every 2.5 minutes.

Here is one of the many videos from the project:

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