Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Broad-scale alterations of historical fire regimes and vegetation dynamics have occurred in many landscapes in the U.S. through the combined influence of land management practices, fire exclusion, ungulate herbivory, insect and disease outbreaks, climate change, and invasion of non-native plant species. The LANDFIRE Project produces maps of simulated historical fire regimes and vegetation conditions using the LANDSUM landscape succession and disturbance dynamics model. The LANDFIRE Project also produces maps of current vegetation and measurements of current vegetation departure from simulated historical reference conditions. These maps support fire and landscape management planning outlined in the goals of the National Fire Plan, Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. Data Summary: The Vegetation Departure (VDEP) data layer categorizes departure between current vegetation conditions and reference vegetation conditions according to the methods outlined in the Interagency Fire Regime Condition Class Guidebook (Hann and others 2004). For the full product description, please refer to Rollins and others 2007, "Developing the LANDFIRE Fire Regime Data Products" available at, however, LANDSUM was not incorporated into the LF_1.0.5 methods. Technical Methods: Hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) were used within LANDFIRE mapping zones to stratify the calculation of vegetation departure. Within each biophysical setting (BpS) in each subsection, we compare the reference percentage of each succession class (SClass) to the current percentage, and the smaller of the two is summed to determine the similarity index for the BpS. This value is then subtracted from 100 to determine the departure index. This departure index is represented using a 0 to 100 percent scale, with 100 representing maximum departure. It is important to note that the LANDFIRE VCC approach differs from that outlined in the Interagency Fire Regime Condition Class Guidebook (Hann and others 2004) as follows: LANDFIRE VCC is based on departure of current vegetation conditions from reference vegetation conditions only, whereas the Guidebook approach also includes departure of current fire regimes from those of the reference period. The reference conditions are derived from vegetation and disturbance dynamics model VDDT. The current conditions are derived from the corresponding version of the LANDFIRE Succession Class data layer; please refer to the product description page at for more information. The proportion of the landscape occupied by each SClass in each BpS unit in each subsection is used to represent the current condition of that SClass in the VCC calculation. The areas currently mapped to agriculture, urban, water, barren, or sparsely vegetated BpS units are not included in the VCC calculation; thus, VCC is based entirely on the remaining area of each BpS unit that is occupied by valid SClasses. Additional data layer values were included to represent Water (111), Snow / Ice (112), Urban (120), Barren (131), Sparsely Vegetated BpS (132), and Agriculture (180). Summarization at the national and state levels does not change the relevance of LANDFIRE data that are available to support management decisions at the unit level. The advantages of a nationally consistent data set and repeatable methodology preclude any short comings of the LANDFIRE data products when used at the local level. Field plot data contributed either directly or indirectly to this LANDFIRE National data product. Go to for more information regarding contributors of field plot data. REFRESH 2001 (lf_1.0.5): Imagery used in LANDFIRE National covered a span of years, and because of this, several large wildland fires are not represented in the data. LANDFIRE circa 2001 ensures wildland fires through 2001 are represented. Additional improvements found in Refresh 2001 include resolving inconsistencies along the international borders and updating aspects of the following: riparian and wetlands areas, agricultural and urban vegetation types as burnable, and adjusting the extent of barren and water land cover types. References: Hann, W.; Shlisky, A.; Havlina, D.; Schon, K.; Barrett, S.; DeMeo, T.; Pohl, K.; Menakis, J.; Hamilton, D.; Jones, J.; Levesque, M. 2004. Interagency Fire Regime Condition Class Guidebook. Interagency and The Nature Conservancy Fire Regime Condition Class website. USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, The Nature Conservancy, and Systems for Environmental Management. Available online:

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License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Date February 1, 2007
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2011 (publication)

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date February 1, 2007
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2011 (publication)
Responsible Party Wildland Fire Science, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: None, Access Constraints: None
Bbox East Long -65.25444546636928
Bbox North Lat 51.64968101623376
Bbox South Lat 22.765446426860603
Bbox West Long -127.98775263969655
Coupled Resource
Licence This product is reproduced from geospatial information prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and USGS EROS. By removing the contents of this package or taking receipt of these files via electronic file transfer methods, you understand that the data stored on this media is in draft condition. Represented features may not be in an accurate geographic location. The Forest Service and USGS EROS make no expressed or implied warranty, including warranty of merchantability and fitness, with respect to the character, function, or capabilities of the data or their appropriateness for any user's purposes. The Forest Service and USGS EROS reserve the right to correct, update, modify, or replace this geospatial information without notification.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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