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Claudine Tobalske

Training points collected in the field between 2012 and 2013 were grouped into 18 classes: Forested Burn (66), Foothill Woodland Steppe Transition (73), Greasewood Flat (73), Greasewood Steppe (239), Greasewood Sage Steppe (277), Great Plains Badlands (166), Great Plains Riparian (255), Low Density Sage Steppe (776), Medium Density Sage Steppe (783), Mixed Grass Prairie (555), Mixed Grass Prairie Burned (278), Ponderosa Pine Woodland and Shrubland (512), Riparian Floodplain (223), Semi-Desert Grassland (103), Sparsely Vegetated Mixed Shrub (252), Silver Sage Flat (70) , Silver Sage Steppe (64), and Water (246). When insufficient field data were available for a class, we augmented it through photointerpretation of...
This landcover raster was generated through a Random Forest predictive model developed in R using a combination of image-derived and ancillary variables, and field-derived training points grouped into 18 classes. Overall accuracy, generated internally through bootstrapping, was 72.7%. A series of post-modeling steps brought the final number of land cover classes to 28.
This study had two objectives: first, to generate a landcover map for the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge (CMR) emphasizing the distribution of land cover types in relation to greater sage grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat needs, and second, to provide data that would allow a determination of whether results were better with SPOT imagery or Landsat 8 imagery. SPOT imagery is provided at a 10m pixel resolution, while Landsat 8 is at 30m. Results from this classification will allow managers to determine which resolution provides the accuracy needed for habitat planning and management.
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