Using Geospatial Analysis to Map Forest Change in New Hampshire: 1996–Present


New Hampshire’s forests are vitally important to the state’s economy; however, there are indications that the state is experiencing a continuous loss in forest cover. We sought to investigate forest cover trends in New Hampshire. A baseline trend in forest cover between 1996 and 2010 was established using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Change Analysis Program land cover data. A land cover map was then generated from Landsat imagery to extend the baseline trend to 2018. Results show that the state has experienced a continual decline in forest cover with the annual net loss steadily increasing from 0.14% between 1996 and 2001 to 0.27% between 2010 and 2018. Additionally, the more urbanized counties in southern New Hampshire are experiencing some of the greatest rates of net forest loss, most likely because of urbanization and agricultural expansion. This study demonstrated an effective methodology for tracking forest cover change and will hopefully inform future forest use policies.


Natural Resources and the Environment

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Journal of Forestry


Oxford University Press

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© The Author(s) 2020