U.S. Forest Service Shield

Description of the Ecoregions of the United States

Compiled by Robert G. Bailey, March 1995

This volume was originally published in 1978 to provide a general description of the ecosystem geography of the Nation as shown on the 1976 map "Ecoregions of the United States." It was first published as an unnumbered publication by the Intermountain Region, USDA Forest Service, Ogden, Utah. It was reprinted in 1980 by the Forest Service, Washington, DC, as Miscellaneous Publication No. 1391. An explanation of the basis for the regions delineated on the map was presented elsewhere (Bailey 1983).

The technique of mapping ecoregions was subsequently expanded to include the rest of North America (Bailey and Cushwa 1981) and the world (Bailey 1989). In 1993, as part of the Forest Service's National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units (ECOMAP 1993), ecoregions were adopted for use in ecosystem management. They will also be used in the proposed National Interagency Ecoregion-Based Ecological Assessments. This volume updates the knowledge of the subject. The goal in preparing this edition, like its predecessor, was not to present information, but to strive for synthesis, i.e., the illustration of interrelationships.

Select a map below for ecosystem subdivision descriptions

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For further information

Robert G. Bailey
Rocky Mountain Research Station
U.S. Forest Service
240 W Prospect Rd
Fort Collins, CO 80526 USA
(970) 498-2617

Request the 1995 hardcopy version


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Date last modified: August 22, 2008