Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) Significant Existing Vegetative Stands

As part of the MRCCA program’s requirements, local units of government are required to map significant existing vegetative stands for planning purposes. These significant plant communities can be identified by referencing a community’s MRCCA plan, which was created using the layer file downloadable below. This data can also be obtained by referencing the MRCCA_sig attribute field in the shapefile. The vegetation data describing significant existing vegetative stands in the MRCCA has been derived from the National Park Service (NPS) Vegetation Inventory Program (VIP), which mapped existing vegetation in all national park units, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). The boundaries of the Minnesota-designated MRCCA are identical to the boundaries of the federally designated Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). The NPS has made this data available for planning purposes in the MRCCA. <br/><br/>The “MRCCA Significant Existing Vegetative Stands” layer (.lyr) file, which was created by the DNR, was derived from the NPS’ inventory to only depict existing vegetation stands considered “significant.” The plant communities identified in this layer file were identified as significant because they are largely intact and connected and contain a sufficient representation of the original native plant community to be identifiable as a distinct class. Much of this vegetation includes an overstory or tree canopy that contributes to the scenic value of the MRCCA. This vegetation provides high ecological value in addition to the water quality and scenic values of “natural vegetation.” Ecologically, this vegetation provides species diversity, habitat for endangered and threatened plants (supporting 19 state-listed rare plant species and 15 state-listed rare animal species in the MRCCA), and a continuous corridor where plants and animals can naturally spread and disperse. This latter characteristic is especially important as habitat becomes more fragmented, climate change accelerates, and invasive species increase. In addition, these vegetation areas serve as living remnants of the original native communities that existed in the corridor, even though they do not meet the size and quality criteria to be classified as a Native Plant Community by the MBS.<br/><br/>The downloadable dataset contains files for the entire NPS VIP evaluation of the MNRRA, beyond just those categorized as “significant” for the purposes of the MRCCA. This evaluation was part of an effort to classify, describe, and map existing vegetation of national park units for the NPS Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program. The NPS VIP is managed by the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Division and provides baseline vegetation information to the NPS Natural Resource I&M Program. The USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, NatureServe, and NPS Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS) have completed vegetation classification and mapping of MISS for the NPS VIP. <br/><br/>Mappers, ecologists, and botanists collaborated to identify and describe vegetation types within the U.S. National Vegetation Classification (USNVC) and to determine how best to map them by using aerial imagery. Features were interpreted from viewing color-infrared digital aerial imagery dated September and October 2012 (during peak leaf-phenology change of trees) via digital onscreen three-dimensional stereoscopic workflow systems in geographic information systems (GIS). The interpreted data were digitally and spatially referenced, thus making the spatial database layers usable in GIS. Polygon units were mapped to either a 0.5 ha or 0.25 ha minimum mapping unit, depending on vegetation type.<br/><br/><b> For a full report on the National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program mapping effort, see: </b> <a href="https://resources.gisdata.mn.gov/pub/gdrs/data/pub/us_mn_state_dnr/biota_mrcca_vegetation/metadata/missvegrpt.pdf" target=_blank>National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program</a> (pdf, 54 MB)

Additional Info

Field Value
dsAccessConst Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. The USGS or the U.S. Government shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein.
dsCurrentRef September 24, 2012
dsMetadataUrl https://resources.gisdata.mn.gov/pub/gdrs/data/pub/us_mn_state_dnr/biota_mrcca_vegetation/metadata/metadata.html
dsModifiedDate 2022-09-01 02:23:07
dsOriginator U.S. Geological Survey- Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
dsPeriodOfContent 9/24/2012
dsPurpose The objective for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS) vegetation mapping project was to identify and map existing vegetation types of the park. To accomplish this goal, three main components to the MISS vegetation mapping project were necessary: (1) vegetation classification, (2) vegetation mapping, and (3) map accuracy assessment (AA). Each of these main components is discussed in greater detail within this report; however, as with any vegetation mapping project, several intermediate steps are inherent to the process.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources identified a set of vegetation classes that were deemed significant for the purposes of the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA), which shares the same boundaries as the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. As part of the planning requirements, local units of government are required to map significant vegetation for planning purposes. These significant plant communities can be identified by using the included layer file or by referencing the MRCCA_sig attribute field.

The following classes are considered significant: Central Great Plains Tallgrass Prairie, Central Riverine Wetland Vegetation, Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation, Eastern North American Freshwater Marsh, Eastern North American Temperate Cliff, Eastern Temperate Wet Shoreline Vegetation, Laurentian & Acadian Pine - Oak Forest & Woodland, Laurentian-Acadian-Allegheny Alkaline Swamp, Midwest Wet Prairie & Wet Meadow, North-Central Beech - Maple - Basswood Forest, North-Central Oak - Hickory Forest & Woodland, Northern & Central Native Ruderal Flooded & Swamp Forest, Northern & Central Native Ruderal Forest, Northern & Central Ruderal Wet Meadow & Marsh, Riverine Mosaic Vegetation, Sand & Gravel Tallgrass Prairie, Silver Maple - Green Ash - Sycamore Floodplain Forest

The following classes are not considered significant: Herbaceous & Woody Developed Vegetation, Herbaceous Agricultural Vegetation, Northern & Central Ruderal Meadow & Shrubland, Open Water (Non-USNVC), and Woody Agricultural Vegetation.
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Dataset extent

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