The first product of the Optimizing Design and Management of Protected Areas for Conservation Project is a land cover change detection analysis based on Landsat thematic mapper (TM) and enhanced thematic mapper plus (ETM+) imagery collected at intervals between 1989 and 2002. The goal of this analysis was to quantify and analyze patterns of forest clearing, land conversion, and other disturbances in and around the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru. After removing clouds and cloud shadows from the imagery using a series of automatic and manual processes, a Tasseled Cap Transformation was used to detect pixels of high reflectance, which were classified as bare ground and areas of likely forest clearing. Results showed a slow but steady increase in cleared ground prior to 1999 and a rapid and increasing conversion rate after that time. The highest concentrations of clearings have spread upward from the western border of the study area on the Huallaga River. To date, most disturbances have taken place in the buffer zone around the park, not within it, but the data show dense clearings occurring closer to the park border each year.