GAP Vegetation

GEODATASET NAME: SR_GAPVEGA83

IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION

Description:
    Southern Rockies Pilot Study Area GAP Vegetation.
Abstract:
    Derived from the 1:100,000 block dataset of the Colorado Gap Analysis 
    Project, habitat/vegetation maps. Using Landsat imagery with a 100 hectare
    minimum mapping unit (40 hectares for riparian areas), 52 habitat types 
    delineated.
Data Type:
    Coverage, polygon
Data Originator:
    Habitat Resources Section 
    Colorado Division of Wildlife 
    6060 N. Broadway
    Denver, CO 80216
    (303)291-7345
    hqwris@lamar.colostate.edu
Data Processor:
    Ed Evanson
    Lockheed Martin Environmental Services
    1050 E. Flamingo Road, Suite E120
    Las Vegas, NV 89119
    (702)897-3208
    eevanson@lmepo.com
Data Provider:
    Dan Heggem
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency NERL
    P.O. Box 93478
    Las Vegas, NV 89193-3478
    (702)798-2278
    heggem.daniel@epa.gov
Keywords:
    Southern Rockies, Pilot Study Area, GAP, habitat, vegetation
Version:
    N/A
Status:
    Interim
Revision Number:
    0
Series Name:                    
Online Link (URL):              
Time Period of Content:         
Use Constraints:
    Limitations/Warnings/Comments: The land cover layer has been developed at 
    a relatively coarse scale (1:100,000) for the entire state and is not 
    suitable for larger scale (i.e. 1:24,000) studies. For example, a 
    deliberate lower limit of 100 ha was used to define any upland map unit. 
    The present coverage is the first release and has not been field validated
    or tested. Formal statistical evaluation of polygon attribution is not 
    presently funded (July 1995). This dataset was produced with an intended 
    application at the state or ecoregion level; geographic features from 
    several hundred thousand to millions of hectares in size. The data provide
    a course-filter approach to analyses, meaning that not every occurrence of
    animal habitat is mapped; only large, generalized distributions are mapped,
    based on the USGS 1:100000 mapping scale in both detail and precision. 
    Therefore, this dataset can be used appropriately for coarse-scale 
    (> 1:100000 scale) applications, or to provide context for finer-level maps
    or applications.                
Purpose:
    Southern Rockies data browser
Date of metadata entry/update:
    02/20/2001
 
No Publication Information Available
No File Security Information Available
  
DATA QUALITY INFORMATION
 
Cloud Cover:
    Not applicable
Software:
    Arc/Info 7.2
Operating System:
    Unix
Path Name:
    /gis7/wemap/reg8/co/gap
Logical Consistency Report:
    Not presently available
Completeness Report:
    Not presently available
Horizontal Positional Accuracy:
    Not presently available
Vertical Positional Accuracy:
    Not presently available
Attribute Accuracy:
    Not presently available
Procedures:
    Colorado Gap Vegetation 1:100k block coverages were merged together 
    and clipped to the Southern Rockies boundary using Arcview's
    geoproccing wizard. The resulting Arcview Shapefile was converted to 
    an Arc/Info coverage and projected to region 8 Albers projection.  
Reviews Applied to Data    
    Lockheed Martin Environmental Services internal review
Related Spatial Data Files:
    All geodatasets with sr_ or soro_ prefix.
Other References Cited:  
Notes:
Update Frequency:
    As needed
 
SPATIAL REFERENCE INFORMATION

             Description of DOUBLE precision coverage SR_GAPVEGA83
 
                                FEATURE CLASSES
 
                                    Number of  Attribute     Spatial
Feature Class          Subclass     Features   data (bytes)  Index?   Topology?
-------------          --------     ---------  ------------  -------  ---------
ARCS                                    17221
POLYGONS                                 6246       232               Yes
NODES                                   11070
 
                               SECONDARY FEATURES
 
Tics                                        4
Arc Segments                           374635
Polygon Labels                           6245
 
                                   TOLERANCES
 
Fuzzy   =                 0.000 V          Dangle  =                 0.000 V
 
                               COVERAGE BOUNDARY
 
Xmin =               143240.443            Xmax =               442457.355
Ymin =               684593.752            Ymax =              1047245.238
 
                                     STATUS
 
The coverage has not been Edited since the last BUILD or CLEAN.
 
                          COORDINATE SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
 
Projection               ALBERS
Datum                     NAD83
Units                    METERS             Spheroid                GRS1980
Parameters:
1st standard parallel                                   34  0  0.000
2nd standard parallel                                   46  0  0.000
central meridian                                       -110  0  0.00
latitude of projection's origin                         31  0  0.000
false easting (meters)                                       0.00000
false northing (meters)                                      0.00000

ENTITY AND ATTRIBUTE INFORMATION
Annotation Name:

ATTRIBUTE LISTING FOR: SR_GAPVEGA83.PAT
COLUMN   ITEM NAME        WIDTH OUTPUT  TYPE N.DEC  ALTERNATE NAME     INDEXED?
    1  AREA                   8    18     F      5                        -
    9  PERIMETER              8    18     F      5                        -
   17  SR_GAPVEGA83#          4     5     B      -                        -
   21  SR_GAPVEGA83-ID        4     5     B      -                        -
   25  CO_GAPVEGA             8    11     F      0                        -
   33  CO_GAPVEGAA            8    11     F      0                        -
   41  WRAY_VEG_              8    11     F      0                        -
   49  WRAY_VEG_I             8    11     F      0                        -
   57  PRIMARY                8    11     F      0                        -
   65  PRIM_PERCE             8    11     F      0                        -
   73  PRIM_CROWN             8    11     F      0                        -
   81  SECONDARY              8    11     F      0                        -
   89  SEC_PERCEN             8    11     F      0                        -
   97  OTHER                  8    11     F      0                        -
  105  WETLANDS1              8    11     F      0                        -
  113  WETLANDS2              8    11     F      0                        -
  121  DISTURBANC             8    11     F      0                        -
  129  SOURCE                 8    11     F      0                        -
  137  COMMENTS              15    15     C      -                        -
  152  SCS_RSITE             23    23     C      -                        -
  175  LULC                  11    11     C      -                        -
  186  SITE_VISIT             8    11     F      0                        -
  194  NERCVEG               15    15     C      -                        -
  209  SCENE                  8    11     F      0                        -
  217  FIRST2                 8    11     F      0                        -
  225  LAST3                  8    11     F      0                        -

METADATA REFERENCE SECTION
 
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata
FGDC Standards Version 6/98 / metadata.aml ver. 1.3 5/21/99

SUPPLEMENTAL METADATA (where available)

Abstract: 
Habitat/vegetation map of Colorado. 52 habitat types photointerpreted from 
Landsat imagery with a 100 hectare minimum mapping unit, 40 hectares for 
riparian areas.
 
Purpose: 
Developed for the Colorado Gap Analysis Project to map habitat types across 
Colorado and to help model animal distributions. May also be used for various 
research, planning, and management issues at the appropriate scale. 
The primary purpose of this layer is to map the extent and distribution of 
the existing land cover types of Colorado. It will provide one variable (land 
cover), used in the Colorado Gap Analysis Project to identify vegetation 
types not currently protected for conservation and to model vertebrate 
species distributions.
 
Bounding_Coordinates: 
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -109.27901791 
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -101.86851063 
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 41.02926514 
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.91383358
 
Keywords: 
Theme_Keyword: Land Cover Map of Colorado 
Theme_Keyword: habitat 
Theme_Keyword: vegetation 
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: Habitat 
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: Surface Vegetation 
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: Glaciers 
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: Wetlands 
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: Land Use 

Appropriate uses include: 
1. statewide biodiversity planning; 
2. regional and large area resource planning; 
3. coarse-filter evaluation of potential impacts or benefits of 
major projects/initiatives on biodiversity, such as utility or 
transportation corridors, wilderness proposals, open space or 
recreational proposals; 
4. environmental impact assessment for large projects such as 
military activities; 
5. education at all levels for both students and citizens. 
Inappropriate uses of this data include: 
1. Generating specific measurements from the data finer than the 
nearest thousand hectares; 
2. Establishing exact boundaries for regulation or acquisition; 
3. Establishing definite presence or absence of any element; 
4. Determining abundance, health, or condition of any element; 
5. Establishing a measure of accuracy of any other data by com- 
parison with this dataset; 
6. Combining this data with any other data finer than 1:100000 
scale for analysis; 
7. Use of this data to map small areas (less than thousands of 
hectares) typically requiring mapping resolution at 1:24000 
scale and using aerial photographs or ground surveys. 
8. Altering the data in any way and redistributing it as a GAP 
product. 

Data_Set_Credit: This dataset resulted from group efforts of state, federal 
and local governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, and 
private individuals throughout both development and review phases. Principal 
investigation responsibilities were shared at times between the Colorado 
Division of Wildlife (CDOW; Denver, Colorado), the National Ecological 
Research Center (NERC/USFWS; Ft. Collins, Colorado), and the University of 
Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming) for dataset development. Ecological modeling was 
carried out by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, with logistical support 
through the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University 
(NREL/CSU; Ft. Collins, Colorado), with support funding from the Colorado 
Division of Wildlife, the National Gap Analysis office (USFWS/USGS; Boise, 
Idaho) and Great Outdoors Colorado (Denver, Colorado). Support throughout the 
review phase, in addition to the above mentioned associates, included the 
USDA - Forest Service, USDI - Bureau of Land Management, USDI - Fish and 
Wildlife Service, USDA - Soil Conservation Resource Service, Colorado Bird 
Atlas Project, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, 
and the Colorado Bird Observatory. A large amount of credit for the land 
cover/vegetation map developed for the Colorado Gap Analysis Project goes 
to the National Ecological Research Center (NERC/USFWS; now Mid-Continent 
Ecological Science Center) for photo-interpretive work in Eastern Colorado, 
and the Botany Department, University of Wyoming for interpretive work for 
the Western two-thirds of Colorado. 

Native_Data_Set_Environment: 
SunOS, 5.5, sun4u UNIX 
ARC/INFO version 7.0.4 

Attribute_Accuracy_Report: 
Identification and corrections of attribution during site visits 
by GAP cooperators provided the most accurate method for accessing 
land cover. Other polygons were attributed by extensive 
cross-referencing of ancillary data. Formal accuracy assessment 
has not been performed due to funding limitations. 

Validation: 
Mapping by the methods described above generates a number of different kinds
of error (Goodchild 1994). Resources were not available for formal map 
validation--a task that probably would require as much effort as the original 
mapping (Stoms et al. 1994). Site visits to many of the polygons by Tom 
Thompson resulted in the most accurate attributing possible. Additional field 
review of polygons was provided by seasonal field work by Steve Boyle and 
Stella Todd, temporary Research Associates of the University of Wyoming Botany
Department. Cover types were either determined or corrected on existing source
maps wherever possible when site visits occurred. Formal statistical 
evaluation of the map is not currently funded. 

Logical_Consistency_Report: 
Polygon and chain-node topology present. 
All coveg_01 land cover data were found to be topologically correct 
using ARC/INFO Rev. 6.1.1. All polygons are closed, and no label errors 
are present. No arc undershoots or overshoots are present and adjacent 
polygons do not have identical attributes. 

Completeness_Report: 
100 hectare minimum mapping unit. Mapping covers entire state of Colorado. 
The map is complete for the State of Colorado. Only the PRIMARY field 
is complete for the map, however, there are approximately 50 polygons 
near the border with New Mexico whose fields were not filled in because 
they are very small and not enough information was available for 
appropriate attribution. The NERCVEG field is complete for those polygons 
in the coverages provided by NERC but this field was not filled on the 
Colorado Gap coverages. Other fields were filled as data was available. 
It should be noted that an attribute of "0" does not necessarily mean 
there is no data although "nodata" codes were not used. 

Horizontal_Positional_Accuracy_Report: 
Unknown. TM Satellite imagery used as a base for the map has been 
geographically rectified and in all cases error is less than 60 
meters (2 full resolution pixels). Digitized polygon boundaries 
are by necessity subjective and no rigorous accuracy assessment 
has been made. 
 
OVERVIEW 
The land cover layer for Colorado was constructed from Landsat TM imagery 
using the manual polygon digitizing technique developed for California Gap 
Analysis and described by Davis et al. (1990) and Scott et al. (1993). 
The Landsat TM imagery was obtained from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. 
These scenes had already been georeferenced, but approximately 10 control 
points were checked and georeferenced on both USGS 1:24,000 quad sheets and 
the imagery by Colorado Gap. In all cases, the scenes were used as received, 
and not re-georeferenced. All image processing was performed using the Map 
and Image Processing System (MIPS) (MicroImages, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska). 
The scenes were resampled from full resolution (30 meter) to degraded (100 
meter) pixels and contrast stretched. TM bands 3, 4 and 5 were then exported 
to ARC/INFO in ERDAS format. Landsat TM data processed by Colorado Gap are 
more fully described in Appendix A. A detailed is available upon request for 
cost of duplication. Polygons were digitized on the computer screen by using 
a mouse to draw lines over the 3 band false color TM image. These polygons 
delineate relatively homogeneous spectral regions on the imagery. Polygons 
were subsequently edited and assigned attributes within the ARCEDIT 
environment by incorporating photointerpretation techniques, maps available 
from federal, state and local agencies, and field reconnaissance. 
Land cover mapping for the eastern part of the state was performed by the 
NERC (NERC's name has since been changed to the Mid-continental Ecological 
Science Center - MESC) and sent to Colorado Gap as 4 1:250,000 map coverages. 
These maps were edgematched with the Gap coverage by Tom Thompson and 
mapjoined after modifying the PAT to match that of the GAP coverages. The 
NERC classification codes were cross referenced to the GAP codes. For the
NERC coverages only PRIMARY and NERCVEG attributes have been filled, though 
the other fields have been provided should future updates occur. 
 
Process_Description: 
Image Processing 
The following is a brief description of the methods used for image 
processing the scenes used by the Colorado Gap Analysis project. A complete, 
detailed document of the TM image processing procedures (Thurston 1993) is 
available upon request from the Botany Department at the University of 
Wyoming. A separate description of the methods used by NERC is provided in 
Appendix E of the Data Dictionary chapter (Chapter IV). 
Thirteen Landsat TM scenes were used by Colorado Gap. Additionally, four 
1:250000 coverages were provided by the National Ecological Research Center, 
to create the Colorado land cover map . The TM scenes were obtained from the
Colorado Division of Wildlife. The Landsat TM imagery was georeferenced by 
Don Schrupp, Amy Cade, and Kristi Buffington of the Colorado Division of 
Wildlife using Earth Resources Data Analysis (ERDAS) image processing 
geo-rectification routines. The scenes were then checked by Tom Thompson and
Rob Thurston at the University of Wyoming, using approximately 10 control 
points located on both the image and on USGS 1:24,000 quad sheets. Images 
were resampled using the Map and Image Processing System (MIPS) to produce 
contrast enhanced imagery at a degraded resolution of 100m x 100m. 
Three bands (TM channels 3, 4 and 5) of these data were used for vegetation
mapping in the Gap Analysis. These bands measure reflectance in the red and 
near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and have proven useful 
for classification of vegetation because they capture important features in 
the reflectance spectra of green leaves. 
The three TM bands were exported from MIPS as ERDAS, .BIL, or .LAN composites.
These files contain three bands of data interleaved by line and preceded by 
header information (128 bytes). ERDAS format image files are compatible with 
the Arc/Info GIS software being used for mapping by Colorado Gap. False color
images can be displayed in Arc/Info by assigning red, green and blue to the 
three bands in any order. A false-color infrared photograph can be emulated 
on screen by assigning red to TM band 4, green to TM band 5 and blue to TM 
band 3. The images were displayed in geographic space according to the 
coordinates assigned during the MIPS georeferencing and stored in the image 
file header. 

Process_Description: 
National Ecological Research Center 
Four 1:250000 coverages for the eastern part of the state (Sterling, Limon, 
Lamar and La Junta) were provided to Colorado Gap by the National Ecological 
Research Center (NERC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. NERC obtained the TM 
satellite scenes from the Colorado Division of Wildlife and had them processed
to film based image maps at Barringer Laboratories in Golden, Colorado. With 
extensive field reconnaissance and use of ancillary data, NERC digitized and 
attributed those polygons found in this part of the map using standard image 
processing techniques. Vegetation/land cover polygon attribute information 
were captured to a 1:250000 scale mylar overlay on the film-based image maps 
for eastern Colorado. A more complete description of their methods, 
references, and classification system can be found in the Data Dictionary 
chapter of this manual. NERC's coverages were edgematched and mapjoined to 
the Colorado Gap coverages in Arc/Info and a crosswalk between the two 
classification systems is provided in the chapter - Crosswalks to Other 
Systems. Polygons on the Colorado Gap side of the state map often contain 
more information than just the PRIMARY field, resulting in several polygons 
on the area of the map produced by Colorado Gap that appear to end at the 
border of the two coverages. Edgematching was performed between the two 
coverages where the arcs were obviously delineating the same type. Where 
there was no continuation of arcs on the NERC coverages the polygons ended 
at the border. Space was provided in the coverage's .PAT to fill in additional
information about polygons in this area, should it become available. 
 
Process_Description: 
Digitizing (Colorado Gap Methods) 
For each TM scene two coverages were created in ARCEDIT. One was the empty 
coverage to which arcs delineating land cover polygons were added. The second,
was an arbitrary grid used as a background coverage during digitizing to 
allow digitizers to keep track of completed work. Since coverages adjacent to
a particular image may overlap with that image, "neat" lines were drawn in the
new vegetation coverage to enclose the area of the scene that did not overlap 
with previously digitized areas. This prevented digitizers from drawing 
polygons on the same area twice. Land cover polygons were digitized manually 
on-screen over the processed Landsat imagery. Student digitizers at the 
University of Wyoming and Tom Thompson of the Department of Botany, performed 
the initial digitizing. Digitizers were given several guidelines for polygon 
drawing, to help insure that the map units were consistent from satellite 
scene to satellite scene and that they followed mapping standards agreed upon 
by Gap Analysis. Land cover polygons were drawn at an approximate scale of 
1:100,000. This was accomplished by drawing the polygons over imagery with 
zooming such that a single pixel (100m x 100m) occupies an area on the screen
of approximately 1mm x 1mm. This zoom factor assured that the map was drawn 
at the size of a 1:100,000 scale map. Some areas required zooming in or out 
further depending on the spectral homogeneity or heterogeneity of the area 
being interpreted. For areas with broad ecotones where boundaries between 
types were not well defined, the ability to view larger areas allowed better 
placement of artificial boundaries. Areas with very distinct land cover units,
such as when irrigated agriculture contrasts with sagebrush allow tighter 
zooms to improve accuracy of more well-defined line placement. Polygons were
drawn with a minimum mapping unit (MMU) of 100ha for land cover and 40ha for 
wetlands. This corresponds to 100 pixels for land cover and 40 for wetlands. 
Digitizers were instructed to do rough pixel counts if in doubt about the size
of a potential polygon unit and to include the area as an inclusion in another
polygon if it was smaller than the MMU. Not every area the size of the MMU was
drawn as a separate polygon. Similar land cover types often showed spectral 
differences and were not separated. Initial editing included checking the 
coverages to visually assess the accuracy of the line work. Lines along 
distinct land cover boundaries should be accurate and polygons should 
represent areas of distinct land cover types or mixtures. Polygons sometimes 
"run-on" in the sense that different land cover types are connected by narrow 
corridors which have not been closed. These types of errors were noted and 
digitizers revised the polygon coverage where necessary. Student digitizers 
performed the initial cleaning and editing. This procedure included the 
removal of dangling arcs and of polygons smaller than the wetland MMU. 
Dangles were removed using the CLEAN command in ARC, and by hand in ARCEDIT 
when dangle length was larger than the tolerance used by the CLEAN command. 
Polygons smaller than the wetland MMU (40ha) were removed using the ELIMINATE 
command in ARC. Land cover polygons smaller than the 100ha dryland MMU were 
removed during or after labeling using logical expressions to select and 
eliminate polygons that included dryland types and were smaller than the MMU. 
Completed coverages were checked by Thompson and further editing was performed
before and during the polygon labeling process. Tom Thompson performed all the
digitizing, editing and labeling on scenes, tm3334, tm3633 and, tm3234. The 
Colorado Gap scenes were digitized into areas also being digitized by NERC. 
When the NERC coverages were received, the Colorado Gap scenes were CLIPPED to
the NERC boundaries. Riparian areas appear as spectrally distinct linear 
regions on the satellite image. These areas were mapped as separate polygons 
when they were larger than the wetland MMU and when they were wider than 2 
pixels. Smaller or narrower riparian areas were included in surrounding 
polygons. It is important not to allow riparian polygons to "bleed" into 
larger 

Process_Description: 
Labeling 
Labels were added to each coverage and a unique user-id was assigned to each 
polygon. User-ids were assigned such that each polygon in the state has a 
unique id. This was accomplished by initially reserving approximately 2000 
id numbers for each coverage. Subsequent updates have modified this convention
somewhat. Adding land cover information to the attribute fields for each 
polygon is the most labor intensive step in the land cover mapping procedure, 
requiring the integration of all available data resources, field 
reconnaissance and photointerpretation of the imagery. Gap analysis vertebrate
habitat modeling requires only the completion of the primary land cover field 
for each polygon. Consequently, this field is complete for all polygons in the
Colorado land cover layer, except for approximately 50 polygons found on the 
border with New Mexico whose size was too small to make educated 
determinations of their cover type. Other fields, however, provide important 
information about the composition of the polygons and efforts were made to 
complete these fields when information was available. The primary method used
for labeling polygons was the use of the Soil Conservation Service's series of
Land Use and Natural Plant Communities maps (1:126,720). Additionally, the 
USGS Land Use/Land Cover digital map layer for Colorado (1:250000) and 
photointerpretation of the image from the computer screen were utilized for 
labeling. Completion of the land cover map for the entire state of Colorado 
within a limited time period and with limited resources required the 
integration of existing data provided by federal, state and private agencies 
and organizations, data described in the literature, conversations with 
workers familiar with particular areas and field reconnaissance. These data 
all serve to provide "training sites" which serve as models for 
photointerpretation of the imagery in areas where reliable data did not exist 
or where field checking was difficult. For each polygon, attributes were 
entered using data entry forms in ARCEDIT. 

Process_Description: 
Edge Matching 
Preliminary edge-matching to surrounding coverages was performed by extending 
digitized line work from adjacent coverages into the new coverage. This 
allowed digitizers to "grow" the new land cover polygons from the old and 
facilitated more rigorous edge-matching of adjacent coverages later. Coverages
created for individual satellite scenes were joined using Arc/Info and edges 
were adjusted manually to produce the seamless land cover map for the state. 
The Colorado Gap coverage has also been edgematched to the coverages produced 
by Utah and Wyoming. The Wyoming coverages were developed and attributed using
similar methods. Utah used machine classification methods to produce their 
maps resulting in various interpretations at several locations along the 
border between the two states. The coverages from NERC were provided with 
only the PRIMARY cover type identified. Adjacent polygons in the Colorado Gap 
coverages may have the same PRIMARY cover type but different SECONDARY or 
OTHER attributes thus resulting in a greater number of delineated polygons on 
the Colorado Gap coverages. This has resulted in several polygons along the 
Colorado Gap border with the NERC coverages that end on the border line and 
do not continue onto the NERC coverages. 

Process_Description: 
NERC Mapping Procedures 
Contact: Thomas Owens (9/23/91) 
Landsat TM scenes were obtained by the Colorado Division of Wildlife 
(Contact: Don Schrupp) and processed into color prints by Barringer 
Laboratories in Golden, Colorado (Contact: Sandra Perry). 
The TM data were acquired between 1984 and 1990 with Landsat satellites 4 and
5. Bands 1,4, and 7 were used. Band 1 is sensitive in the blue portion of the 
electromagnetic spectrum, band 4 is sensitive to the near visible infrared, 
and band 7 is sensitive to mid infrared radiation. Barringer produced 
annotated 1:250,000 blow-up photos coinciding with 1:250,000 topographic 
quads, and warped with 25-30 control points. The images were visually scanned
for areas to visit for field checking. Field checking involved taking detailed
notes and ground photos of all new signatures and vegetation types, visiting 
areas where new questions may have arisen, and briefly confirming areas that 
have similar signatures. Field notes were reviewed and compared with the image
to ensure all major signatures were identifiable. Interpretation was done 
manually using conventional PI methods. The interpreter used the visual clues 
of color, texture, pattern, size and context to classify vegetation. Extensive
field checking was done to ensure the interpretation was as accurate as 
possible. Clear acetate was overlaid on the image and line work was produced 
using a 3x0 size drafting pen (draws a line .25 mm wide). Interpretation was 
done using a magnifying glass. Delineations were made for the most obvious 
features first, then the less obvious ones. Once the obvious areas were 
delineated, a wetland density modifier was added. This was done by overlaying
the delineated acetate onto the 1:250,000 scale wetland map and counting or
estimating the number of wetlands per square mile using a grid produced for 
that purpose. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 11001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Urban or Built-up land. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION This category is comprised 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 commercial complexes, and institutions that may, 
in some instances, be isolated from urban areas (Anderson, et al. 
1976). 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 21001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Dry land crops type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: (see DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES) 
DESCRIPTION This type includes non irrigated cropland, dryland 
improved pastures, fallow lands, rural development, ranch and farm 
facilities and shelter belts. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Small grains, wheat, barley, rye, any 
non-irrigated crop. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 21002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Irrigated crop type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: (see DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES) 
DESCRIPTION Any irrigated agricultural area. Includes most row 
crops, irrigated pastureland and hay fields and associated farm or 
ranch facilities. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Row crops, corn, beans, irrigated hayfields 
and pastures. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 21003 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Orchard, Horticultural type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION Orchards, groves, and vineyards produce the various 
fruit and nut crops. Nurseries and horticultural areas, which include 
floricultural and seed-and-sod areas and some greenhouses, are used 
perennially for these purposes. Tree nurseries which provide seedlings 
for plantation forestry also are included here (Anderson, et al. 
1976). 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Various fruits, nuts, sod, tree nurseries etc. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 21004 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Confined livestock feeding type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION Confined feeding operations are large, specialized 
livestock production enterprises, chiefly beef cattle feedlots, 
dairy operations with confined feeding, and large poultry farms, but 
also including hog feedlots (Anderson, et al 1976). 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 31010 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Tallgrass prairie type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little 
bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) 
DESCRIPTION (see NOTES) 
DISTRIBUTION: Eastern Colorado 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, 
Sorghastrum nutans 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 31013 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Sand dune grassland complex type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Prairie sandreed (Calamovilfa longifolia), Sand 
bluestem (Andropogon hallii), Common Reed (Phragmites australis), 
Blowoutgrass (Redfieldia flexuosa), Lemon scurfpea (Psoralea 
lanceolata). 
DESCRIPTION This type includes active and stabilized grass 
dominated sand dune communities. Distinct from shrub sand dune 
complex type in being dominated by grass species, although shrub 
species are likely to be present also. 
DISTRIBUTION: Northeastern Colorado 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Prairie sandreed (Calamovilfa longifolia), Sand 
bluestem (Andropogon hallii), Common Reed (Phragmites australis), 
Blowoutgrass (Redfieldia flexuosa), Lemon scurfpea (Psoralea 
lanceolata). 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 31020 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mid grass prairie type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), 
Galleta (Hilaria jamesii), Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum), Western 
wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria 
spicata), Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), New Mexico 
feathergrass (Stipa neomexicana), Green needlegrass (Stipa viridula). 
DESCRIPTION (see NOTES) 
DISTRIBUTION: Eastern Colorado 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), Galleta 
(Hilaria jamesii), Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum), Western wheatgrass 
(Pascopyrum smithii), Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), 
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), New Mexico feathergrass 
(Stipa neomexicana), Green needlegrass (Stipa viridula), Needle and 
thread (Stipa comata). 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 31030 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Short grass prairie type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides), blue grama 
(Bouteloua gracilis) 
DESCRIPTION This graminoid type is dominated by short grass prairie 
species and buffalograss is considered as an indicator. Buffalograss 
must be present for a grassland to be mapped as this type. This type 
usually consists of a shortgrass understory of buffalograss and blue 
grama and an overstory of western wheatgrass, needle and thread grass, 
or other mixed grass species. 
DISTRIBUTION: Eastern Colorado 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Buchloe dactyloides, Bouteloua gracilis 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 31040 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Foothills and mountain grassland type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Festuca spp., Muhlenbergia spp. 
DESCRIPTION (see NOTES) 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Festuca arizonica, Festuca thurberi, Festuca 
idahoensis, Muhlenbergia montana, Muhlenbergia filiculmis, Danthonia 
parryi, Pseudoroegneria spicata, Stipa comata 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mesic upland shrub type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Varied (see DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES) 
DESCRIPTION This is a 'catch all' type which includes a variety of 
shrub communities that grow in relatively mesic sites. Most often, 
Rocky Mountain maple, serviceberry, and/or chokecherry are dominant or 
co-dominant, but other shrub species may be present. Mountain mahogany 
can not be dominant. Mesic shrubs must comprise more than 25% of the 
total vegetative cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1560-3760m (5100-12325') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Acer glabrum, Amelanchier sp., Symphoricarpos sp., 
Prunus sp. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Xeric upland shrub type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus sp.) 
DESCRIPTION A shrub community with vegetative cover dominated by 
species of mountain mahogany. Mountain mahogany must comprise more 
than 25% of the total vegetative cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1740-2855m (5700-9360') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Cercocarpus montanus, Cercocarpus ledifolius 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32003 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Deciduous oak type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) 
DESCRIPTION Scrub oak community where Gambel oak comprises more than 
25% of the total vegetative cover and is the dominant shrub. 
DISTRIBUTION: This species does not occur on the east slope of the 
Front Range north of the Denver area. However, the range of this 
species extends into Wyoming on the west slope. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1830-2940m (6000-9630') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Quercus gambelii 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32005 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Bitterbrush shrub type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) 
DESCRIPTION Areas where Bitterbrush is the dominant or co dominant 
shrub and comprises more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. Often 
Artemisia tridentata is co dominant, but if there is a significant 
proportion of Bitterbrush, the community is classified as Bitterbrush 
shrub type because of the importance of this type for wildlife. 
DISTRIBUTION: Found scattered throughout Colorado, but more likely to 
assume canopy cover dominance in western Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1830-2745m (6000-9000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Purshia tridentata 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32006 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mountain big sagebrush type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp., 
vaseyana) 
DESCRIPTION This type is dominated by mountain big sagebrush, which 
must be 25% or greater of the total vegetative cover. Often this type 
occurs with mixed grasses. Sometimes occurs as patches of dense 
sagebrush with patches of mixed grasses. In this case, sagebrush 
patches must be more than 50% of the land area. 
DISTRIBUTION: (see NOTES) 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1525-2900m (5000-9500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32007 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Wyoming big sagebrush type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp., 
wyomingensis) 
DESCRIPTION This type is dominated by Wyoming big sagebrush, 
comprising more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. This type is 
variable and includes areas of dense homogenous Wyoming big sagebrush, 
to sparsely vegetated, arid areas where Wyoming big sagebrush is the 
dominant shrub. Often, patches of Wyoming big sagebrush are found with 
patches of mixed grasses. In these cases, the area is classified as 
Wyoming big sagebrush if the sagebrush patches occupy more than 50% of 
the total ground cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1030-3410m (3300-11200') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Artemisia tridentata ssp., wyomingensis 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32009 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Big sagebrush type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp., 
tridentata) 
DESCRIPTION Shrubland with basin big sagebrush dominating the shrub 
cover and comprising more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. 
Often occurs mixed with grasses. When found in riparian areas, primary 
vegetation is classified as shrub riparian and secondary type as big 
sagebrush shrubland. 
DISTRIBUTION: (see NOTES) 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1200-2150m (4000-7000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32010 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Desert shrub type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Four wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), Shadscale 
(Atriplex confertifolia) 
DESCRIPTION This type is a mixture of shrubs occurring in dry, salty 
habitats. Shrub cover is often dominated by shadscale, but can be a 
mixture of shrub species. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1220-2440m (4000-8000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Atriplex canescens, Atriplex confertifolia, 
Coleogyne ramosissima 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32011 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Saltbush fans and flats type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Saltbush (Atriplex sp.) 
DESCRIPTION Areas where Gardner's saltbush comprises more than 25% of 
the total vegetative cover. These are usually relatively pure saltbush 
stands, often sparsely vegetated with bare soil constituting most of 
the land surface. Can be mixed with some grasses or shrubs if these 
comprise less than 50% of the total cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: Found in western Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1400-1830m (4500-6000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Atriplex nuttallii, Atriplex corrugata, Atriplex 
cuneata 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32012 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Greasewood fans and flats type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) 
DESCRIPTION Areas where greasewood comprises more than 75% of the 
total shrub cover and more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. 
Often found mixed with grasses. Greasewood is frequently found in 
riparian areas and classified as shrub riparian, with greasewood 
classified as secondary vegetation type within the polygon. 
DISTRIBUTION: (see NOTES) 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1400-2600m (4500-8500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Sarcobatus vermiculatus 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32013 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Sand dune shrub complex type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), Rabbitbrush 
(Chrysothamnus sp.), Spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa) 
DESCRIPTION This type includes active and stabilized shrub dominated 
sand dune communities. On active dunes most of the land surface is 
comprised of bare, shifting sands though some dune stabilizing species 
such as Indian ricegrass, Psoralea spp., and rabbitbrush may be present, 
especially around the margins. Stabilized dunes are vegetated and may 
include a combination of the above as well as Artemisia species. 
DISTRIBUTION: Northeastern Colorado, Comanche National Grassland, San 
Luis Valley 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1070-1700m (3500-5500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Artemisia filifolia, Chrysothamnus sp., Psoralea 
spp., Oryzopsis hymenoides, bare sand 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 32030 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Disturbed shrub type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus sp.), Mormon tea 
(Ephedra sp.), horsebrush (Tetradymia sp.) 
DESCRIPTION Areas where erosion, burning, excessive livestock grazing 
or other natural or man made disturbance have resulted in a community 
dominated by shrubs with little value to livestock or wildlife. 
DISTRIBUTION: (see NOTES) 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Chrysothamnus sp., Ephedra sp., Tetradymia sp. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 41001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Aspen type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Rocky Mountain aspen (Populus tremuloides) 
DESCRIPTION Forest in which aspen dominates the canopy. Includes 
pure aspen forest and mixed conifer aspen forest where aspens make up 
over 50% of the total canopy. Total canopy coverage of trees must be 
greater than 25%. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1830-3050m (6000-10000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Populus tremuloides 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Spruce - fir type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) and Subalpine 
fir (Abies lasiocarpa). 
DESCRIPTION Spruce fir forest not significantly affected by logging. 
Engelmann spruce and/or subalpine fir must be dominant or co-dominant 
in the canopy. This type will also include spruce fir krummholz 
communities. Total canopy coverage by all tree species must be greater 
than 25%. 
DISTRIBUTION: Abies lasiocarpa and Picea engelmannii are found in the 
subalpine zone throughout the state of Colorado. The subspecies A.l. 
arizonica begins to replace the subspecies A.l. lasiocarpa in the 
southern part of the state. Abies is absent from the relatively dry 
subalpine zone of Pike's Peak. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 2590-3659m (8500 - 12000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Spruce - fir clearcut type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) and 
Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa). 
DESCRIPTION Clearcuts or areas significantly altered by logging 
operations within the Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir forest type. 
These areas are a mosaic of logged areas and intact forest but logged 
areas must occupy more than 40% of the total area. Ground cover can 
range from bare, disturbed soil, trough meadow, to early successional 
stages but does not become forest until total canopy closure reaches 
26%. 
DISTRIBUTION: See spruce fir type. 
ELEVATION RANGE: See spruce fir type. 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42003 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Douglas fir type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 
DESCRIPTION Forests dominated by Douglas fir. This type includes both 
intact Douglas fir forests and those affected by logging (when 
contiguous logged areas are smaller than 100 ha.). 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1650-2800m (5400-9000') (Peet, 1988) 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pseudotsuga menziesii 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42004 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Lodgepole pine type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) 
DESCRIPTION Forest which is dominated by lodgepole pine and not 
significantly affected by logging. Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir 
may be mixed with the canopy trees or important in the understory, but 
not as dominants. 
DISTRIBUTION: Lodgepole pine is absent from the Pike's Peak area and 
reaches it's southern limit of distribution in southern Colorado. The 
species is also absent form the west slope of the Rockies in southern 
Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1830-3354m (6000-11000') especially above 2440m 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus contorta 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42007 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Lodgepole pine clearcut type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) 
DESCRIPTION Areas of lodgepole pine that are significantly affected 
by logging. This type consists of clearcut areas within the lodgepole 
pine type, with logged areas covering more than 40% of the total ground 
area. The vegetation on the logged areas may vary, but is not 
classified as forest until the regrowing trees dominate the vegetation 
within the clearcuts. The current vegetation in the clearcut may be 
identified as the secondary vegetation type. 
DISTRIBUTION: See lodgepole pine type. 
ELEVATION RANGE: See lodgepole pine type. 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus contorta 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42009 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Limber pine type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) 
DESCRIPTION Areas dominated by limber pine. This type includes 
closed canopy forest dominated by limber pine to more open limber pine 
woodland where limber pine consists of more than 25% of the total 
vegetative cover. Often co-occurs with juniper woodland and with shrubs 
or grasses in the understory. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1524-3354m (5000-11000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus flexilis 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42010 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Ponderosa pine type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) 
DESCRIPTION Ponderosa pine dominated forest or woodland that is not 
significantly affected by logging. Canopy closure may vary from 26-100%. 
DISTRIBUTION: Found throughout the state of Colorado. East of the 
continental divide from the Colorado - Wyoming border northward, the 
low elevation habitat of ponderosa pine occurs only along the far 
eastern fringe of the Rocky Mountain region (Black Hills, Bighorn 
Mountains, Laramie Range and rocky outcrops in between). 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1524-2744m (5000-9000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus ponderosa 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42011 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Blue Spruce type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Blue spruce (Picea pungens) 
DESCRIPTION Forested areas dominated by blue spruce. Due to the 
riparian nature of this species, the mixed composition typical of 
riparian areas, and the size of the minimum mapping unit, this type 
may not often be represented as a primary vegetation type. Distinguish 
from forested riparian type when blue spruce is over 26% of the total 
canopy cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: Found along streams and rivers and in other wet to 
mesic habitats throughout Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 2134-3550m (7000-9500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Picea pungens 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42012 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: White fir type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: White fir (Abies concolor) 
DESCRIPTION Forested areas where white fir is more than 25% of the 
total canopy cover. White fir habitat and community types are 
described by the Forest Service only from forests of south central 
Colorado. This species is typically found in mixed stands and/or 
riparian areas and therefore may not often occur as a primary 
vegetation type. 
DISTRIBUTION: This species reaches it's northern limit on the east 
slope of the Front Range by Denver. This type is more common in the 
forests in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 2290-3050m (7500-10000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Abies concolor 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42015 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Juniper woodland type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Juniper (Juniperus monosperma, Juniperus 
osteosperma, Juniperus scopulorum) 
DESCRIPTION Woodland dominated by species of Juniper. Junipers must 
comprise more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. Often occurs with 
mountain mahogany, sagebrush and limber pine. 
DISTRIBUTION: Foothills and rocky outcrops throughout Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1525-2130m (5000-7000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Juniperus monosperma, Juniperus osteosperma, 
Juniperus scopulorum 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42016 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Pinyon - Juniper type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) and Juniper (Juniperus 
monosperma, Juniperus osteosperma, Juniperus scopulorum) 
DESCRIPTION Forested areas dominated by a mixture of pinyon pine and 
one or more species of juniper. Lower elevation sites where pinyon pine 
is absent or rare should be classified as juniper woodland. This type 
rarely forms closed canopy forests and is more typically found in a 
woodland situation. 
DISTRIBUTION: Both Juniperus monosperma and Pinus edulis are absent 
from the east slope of the Front Range of north central Colorado (from 
about the latitude of Denver north). However, this type continues to 
the Wyoming border on the west slope. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1220-2750m (4000-9000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus edulis, Juniperus monosperma, Juniperus 
osteosperma, Juniperus scopulorum 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42017 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata) 
DESCRIPTION Forested areas dominated by Rocky Mountain bristlecone 
pine. This type rarely forms closed canopy forests. 
DISTRIBUTION: It is found primarily on the east slope of the 
continental divide, but does not occur as far north as Rocky Mountain 
National Park. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 2130-3960m (7000-13000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Pinus aristata 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 42018 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mixed conifer type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: (see DESCRIPTION) 
DESCRIPTION Includes areas that are dominated by conifers, but can 
not be assigned to one of the conifer cover types because of the 
mixture of conifer types present. Includes several common conifer 
mixtures including White Fir-Douglas Fir, Lodgepole Pine-Douglas Fir, 
Spruce-Fir-Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce-Douglas Fir, and Limber 
Pine-Douglas Fir. Combinations of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir are 
generally typed as Ponderosa Pine, if Ponderosa Pine seemed more 
common, and as Douglas Fir if Douglas Fir seemed more common. Areas 
where Bristlecone Pine or Limber Pine occurred with other conifer 
species fell into this category as well. Areas found on the SCS Natural 
Plant Community maps that were mapped as Mixed Conifer fell into this 
category as well, but the conifer types are not known. 
DISTRIBUTION: Mixed Conifer stands found in the Front Range, and in 
Southern Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: (see DESCRIPTION) 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 43000 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mixed forest land type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Varied 
DESCRIPTION This type includes all forested areas where both 
evergreen and deciduous trees are growing and neither predominates. 
When more than one-third intermixture of either evergreen or deciduous 
species occurs in a specific area, it is classified as mixed forest 
land. Where the intermixed land use total less than one-third of the 
specified area, the category appropriate to the dominant type of forest 
land applied, whether deciduous or evergreen (Anderson, et al. 1976). 
In practice, the Land Use/ Land Cover map used by Colorado Gap seemed 
to include the following vegetation cover combinations in the class 
"Mixed Forest": pinyon-juniper-Gambel oak, Ponderosa pine-Gambel oak, 
Ponderosa pine-Aspen, Spruce-fir-Aspen, Mixed conifer-Aspen. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout western Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: (see DESCRIPTION) 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 52001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Open water type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION Any area of open water with area greater than 40 ha. 
Includes lakes and reservoirs, but not rivers or streams. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 920-3820m (3000-12500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 61001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Forest dominated wetland/riparian type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Narrowleaf 
cottonwood (Populus angustifolia), Aspen, Boxelder (Acer negundo), 
Willows (Salix sp.), conifer species. 
DESCRIPTION Riparian and wetland areas in which tree species dominate 
the vegetation. These are generally cottonwood species at low to 
middle elevations, but grade into aspen, boxelder, alder, willows and a 
variety of conifer species at mid to high elevations. Trees must occupy 
more than 25% of the vegetative cover within the riparian zone. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1070-2900m (3500-9500') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Populus deltoides, Populus angustifolia, Populus 
tremuloides, Acer negundo, Salix sp., conifer species. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 62001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Shrub dominated wetland/riparian type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Any shrub dominated riparian area. 
DESCRIPTION Riparian or wetland areas where shrubs comprise more than 
25% of the vegetative cover and trees comprise less than 25%. Shrubs 
often include various willow species but other shrubs (hawthorn, wild 
plum, birch, alder, greasewood or sagebrush) may be present or 
dominant. Includes willow dominated subalpine riparian zones. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 950-3650m (3100-12000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Salix sp., Betula sp., Alnus sp. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 62002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Graminoid and forb dominated wetland/riparian type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Varied 
DESCRIPTION This type includes wetland and riparian areas with 
vegetation dominated by grasses or forbs. Includes communities such as 
wet and moist meadow grasslands, marsh and swamp wetlands, cattail, 
bulrush and sedge dominated wetlands, inland salt meadows and salt 
flats as well as riparian areas. Must not have more than 25% shrub or 
tree cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 70000 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Barren Lands 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not Applicable 
DESCRIPTION Areas dominated by bare ground 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 rock. 
DISTRIBUTION: Can be found throughout Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 71001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Unvegetated playa type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: None 
DESCRIPTION This type includes bare saline playa areas, mud flats, 
shorelines, sand beaches and gravel bars. Very sparse, salt tolerant 
vegetation such as Salicornia rubra may be present around the margins. 
DISTRIBUTION: Mainly flat-floored bottoms of interior desert basins 
which do not qualify as wetlands 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Salicornia rubra 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 71002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Bare soil. Not in manual.
DOMINANT SPECIES: 
DESCRIPTION  
DISTRIBUTION: 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 73000 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Sandy areas other than beaches. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION This type is composed primarily of dunes, accumulations 
of sand transported by wind (Anderson, et al. 1976). 
DISTRIBUTION: This type is found primarily in eastern Colorado, North 
Park, and the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in the San Luis Valley. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 74001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Exposed rock type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION This type includes naturally occurring areas of bare rock 
such as cliffs, spires, rock outcrops and talus fields as well as steep 
scarps of soft rock with total vegetative cover less than 5%. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 75001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mining operations type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION This type includes unreclaimed mine sites, strip mines, 
associated development, drainage ponds, etc. as well as oil and gas 
development where the vegetation has been removed or damaged over 
areas greater than 100 ha. 
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 81001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Prostrate shrub and tundra type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Willows (Salix sp.), Mountain avens (Dryas 
octopetala), Alpine prickly currant (Ribes montigeum), Wild red 
raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. sachalinensis), Shrubby cinquefoil 
(Potentilla fructicosa). 
DESCRIPTION Alpine tundra areas, above treeline, where the vegetation 
is dominated by low willows and other prostrate shrubs. Willow species 
must comprise more than 25% of the total vegetative cover. 
DISTRIBUTION: Above timberline throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: Above timberline. 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Salix sp., Dryas octopetala, Ribes montigeum, Rubus 
idaeus ssp. sachalinensis, Potentilla fructicosa. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 82001 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Meadow tundra type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Dominance various 
DESCRIPTION This type includes graminoid and forb dominated 
vegetation that occurs above upper treeline in the alpine zone. Common 
species include various sedges (Carex sp.), low growing willows (Salix 
sp.), grasses and forbs. 
DISTRIBUTION: Above timberline throughout the state of Colorado. 
ELEVATION RANGE: Above timberline 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Carex sp., Salix sp. 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 82002 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Subalpine meadow type. 
DOMINANT SPECIES: A variety of species can be dominant or co-dominant 
DESCRIPTION Graminoid and forb type occurring within and below upper 
treeline. Often found in mountain park situations. 
DISTRIBUTION: (see DESCRIPTION above) 
ELEVATION RANGE: 1530-3050m (5000-10000') 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Polygonum bistortoides (American bistort), 
Agrostis thurberiana (Thurber bentgrass), Lewisia pygmaea (least 
lewisia), Juncus drummondii (Drummonds rush), Phleum alpinum (alpine 
timothy), Poa reflexa (nodding bluegrass), Veronica wormskjoldii 
(alpine veronica), Arnica mollis (subalpine arnica). 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 83000 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Bare Ground Tundra 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Not applicable 
DESCRIPTION Areas in tundra regions which are less than one-third 
vegetated. Usually dominated by considerable amounts of exposed bare 
rock, sand, or gravel interspersed with low herbaceous, shrubby plants. 
DISTRIBUTION: Tundra regions 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: Not applicable 

MAPPING UNIT ATTRIBUTE CODE: 85000 
MAPPING UNIT NAME: Mixed Tundra 
DOMINANT SPECIES: Varied 
DESCRIPTION Areas consisting of a mixture of tundra occurrences where 
any particular type occupies less than two-thirds of the area of the 
mapping unit. 
DISTRIBUTION: Tundra regions 
ELEVATION RANGE: 
DIAGNOSTIC SPECIES: 

Attribute_Definition_Source: 
Thompson, T., et al. 1996. 'Manual to Accompany the Gap Analysis Land 
Cover Map of Colorado.' Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, CO 80216 

Distribution_Liability: 
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