2010 Land Cover Use/Trends

Montana contains about 94.1 million acres. Approximately 70 percent (nearly 66 million acres) of this area is in non-Federal rural lands (see 2010 Land Cover/Use, Pie Chart). In 2010, non-Federal rural lands in Montana were predominantly rangeland (57%) and cropland (22%)(see 2010 Non-Federal Rural Land Cover/Use, Pie Chart). Of the cropland, 76.9 percent is cultivated and 23.1 percent is non-cultivated.

Between 2007 and 2010, the acreage of land in the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was reduced by about 11%, from 3.3 million acres to 2.9 million acres in Montana. About half of that acreage became non-cultivated cropland and slightly less than half became pastureland. In fact, almost two-thirds of the increase in pastureland that occurred in Montana between 2007 and 2010 came from land coming out of CRP.

Montana showed less than a 2% increase in developed land between 2007 and 2010 from 1.04 million to 1.06 million acres. This mirrors the National trend of a two percent increase from 111.1 to 113.3 million acres. For NRI, developed lands include rural transportation corridors such as roads and railroads as well as urban and built-up areas, which include residential, industrial, commercial, and other land uses.