A classification schema is needed for the Florida State Wildlife Action Plan. The current classification schemas used within Florida were investigated to determine if that classification could serve as a model to meet the needs of the Plan.
Florida Land Cover Classification System The Florida State Wildlife Action Plan has taken a habitat-based approach to assess the needs and status of wildlife in Florida. However, a single, comprehensive land cover classification is needed to meet the priorities and goals of the Plan. The feasibility and applicability of classification schemas used within Florida and throughout the nation were investigated to determine if a currently developed classification could serve as a model to meet the needs of the Plan.
It was determined that a schema that incorporated classifications currently used by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, and Florida's water management districts would be the most feasible and produce the most usable land cover data set. Based on these systems, a draft classification was developed and presented to a group of experts. The experts were selected based on their knowledge of Florida's natural communities and their proficiency in classifying Florida land cover and use of image processing techniques. The proposed classification was revised and modified to incorporate, to the greatest extent possible, the currently used classifications and class definitions into a new classification schema.
The result was a classification schema that is hierarchical, capable of being updated as new information emerges, and can be cross-walked among the currently used and maintained classifications. The ability to cross-walk this classification with other currently used schemas will allow the incorporation of other classification efforts and facilitate collaboration between entities producing land cover datasets. This will ultimately result in more accurate and reliable land cover classification that will benefit and add value to all currently maintained land cover classification projects, as well as meeting the needs of the Florida State Wildlife Action Plan. You may obtain the Florida Land Cover Classification System schema in an Excel spreadsheet or the final report in pdf format by contacting our Records Technician at GISRequests@MyFWC.com, or by calling (850) 488-0588.