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Land Use in the Appalachians

Land use patterns vary widely within the Appalachian LCC, depending on climate, topography, soils and human population distribution. General land area cover estimates based on the National Land Cover Dataset  indicate that approximately 62% of the Appalachian LCC is forested while pasture/hay/grassland and cropland account for 18% and 8% of land use, respectively.  Timber, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing were the traditional mainstays of the Appalachian economy into the mid-20th century. While industry employment data specific to the Appalachian LCC are not available, data from the Appalachian Regional Commission study area indicate that recently other industries such as new energy development have replaced agriculture and mining as more important economic forces.

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