Natural Resource Management and Analysis
A Stream Shade Assessment Model for ArcGIS
David R. Stockdale
RAPID is a menu driven shade model that runs in ArcMap that was developed to complete a shade assessment at the 5th field level and identify potential restoration sites. It is a conversion of an earlier model that ran in Workstation ArcInfo. The model uses the vegetation database Interagency Mapping and Assessment Project (IMAP) that covers all of Oregon. The utility of the model is to automate and streamline a shade assessment at the watershed scale for the preparation of Water Quality Restoration Plans. Products generated by the model include: A complete existing shade map for the watershed, a map showing areas of active federal management, a potential stream shade map based on an entered potential tree height, active restoration sites that includes riparian tree planting and thinning opportunities, and average stream shade values at the 6th field level.
Advanced Aquatic Measurement Technologies For Remote Locations: Using In Situ and Remote Sensing Data to Characterize the North Slope of Alaska
ALWAS (Automated Lagrangian Water Quality Assessment System) is a relatively inexpensive, helicopter-deployable, free-floating, water quality measuring and watershed evaluation system. Three ALWAS systems, and its cousin BathyBoat (only in 2008), were successfully deployed on the North Slope of Alaska during the summers of 2006 and 2008. ALWAS and BathyBoat data have been used to provide baseline water quality characterization, determine change detection, document salt-water intrusion, investigate yellow billed loon habitat preference, and provide control and algorithm validation points for satellite remote sensing of the extensive North Slope region. Remote sensing algorithms have been used to extend estimate of turbidity, chlorophyll, and salinity (expressed in alterations of aquatic vegetation and shoreline communities) to lakes that have not been directly sampled. Robert Shuchman1, Guy Meadows2, Liza Jenkins1, Scott Guyer3, Chuck Hatt1, John Payne4 1 Michigan Tech Research Institute2 University of Michigan, Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory3 Bureau of Land Management4 North Slope Science Initiative
Agreement of Manually Classified Land Use From High Resolution Imagery at a Regional Scale
The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program assesses forest status, condition, and trends through annual inventories in every state on both public and private lands using a permanent plot network. Because the nation is approximately one-third forested, significant cost savings are realized by classifying the land use of each plot prior to field visitation and not visiting plots that are clearly non-forest. The FIA program performs the land use classification of each plot by manual interpretation of high resolution aerial imagery. Inventory plots that are either classified as forest or were forest based on previous inventories are field visited. Inventory plots that could not be classified with a high degree of confidence are also field visited. However, inventory plots that are clearly non-forest are excluded from field visitation. Our objective is to quantify the repeatability and accuracy of the non-forest land use class developed from aerial imagery. To accomplish this, a random subset of non-forest plots is interpreted independently by another individual to assess repeatability. Also, a random subset of non-forest plots are visited by field staff to assess the accuracy of the image interpretation process. We report on the repeatability and accuracy of land use interpretation based on high-resolution imagery for a 45-state area. Results indicate a high level of repeatability and accuracy with regard to the selection or exclusion of plots to be inventoried.
An Overview of the Forest Service Natural Resource Manager Application (NRM)
This presentation will provide an overview of the Forest Service Natural Resource Manager (NRM) Application. Recently the NRM application was created by combining existing national applications, including Infra, TIM/FACTS, and NRIS. These applications were combined to blend the skills and corporate knowledge of the application teams, and to provide better coordination and interoperability between all of the applications at the Enterprise Data Center. The primary focus of NRM is centralizing information and technology infrastructures as well as standardizing data to facilitate inter-application data sharing, and retrieval of national data sets more efficient for the Forest Service. NRM also provides a common look and feel for our systems, applications, and data. NRM provides a user-friendly application interface for data entry, retrieval, analysis and display. It also allows for the integration of spatial and tabular data to support data analysis, map creation, and permit management. The combination of skills and corporate knowledge in NRM leadership will enhance future development of applications within and across many Forest Service business areas.
Approaches for Monitoring and Assessment of Fine-scale Forest Spatial Patterns
Fine-scale forest spatial patterns have broad ecological importance and are typically of high management concern, but assessment of these patterns relies on spatially explicit forest structure information and spatial analysis techniques typically unassociated with treatment monitoring. I present two approaches useful for the quantification of specific fine-scale forest spatial patterns using ground survey and remote-sensing data sources. Challenges and opportunities associated with monitoring and assessment of fine-scale forest spatial patterns will also be discussed.
Can the NHD Satisfy the Business Requirements of Multiple Partners? A Pacific Northwest Perspective
The NHD in the Pacific Northwest was built from a variety of sources supplied by partner agencies. In particular, the headwater streams in Oregon and Washington are not represented in a consistent manner in areas of similar topography and climatic regimes. This has led to challenges in both the governance of the NHD stewardship in the Pacific Northwest and the adoption of the NHD by researchers and modelers. This presentation will examine some of the strategies the PNW Framework has used to meet the business requirements of its partners and user groups. The utilization of newer technologies such as LiDAR offers a potential long-term solution to this problem.
Conditions of Survey Atlas-Using GCDB Reliability Data to Identify Potential Boundary Issues Relative to High Priority Resource Values and Mission Critical Areas
The Conditions of Survey Atlas leverages the GCDB reliability data and examines these values in relationship with BLM land related themes. The reliability data was extracted and compiled from the GCDB to produce a series of maps and databases depicting the “Condition of Surveys” for every BLM Field office in the western United States, excluding Alaska. The three categories or classifications of reliability data as rendered in the Conditions of Survey Atlas assist in identifying substandard, marginal, or superior Public Land Survey System data. The reliability categories were formulated through discussions with Certified Federal Land Surveyors, GCDB Managers, and referencing National Map Accuracy Standards.
Connecting Alaska Landscapes into the Future
Connecting Alaska Landscapes into the Future is a partnership-based project between federal Agencies and NGOs in Alaska to look at landscape connectivity under different climate change scenarios. The project initiated by FWS has two goals: 1) to identify lands and fresh waters in Alaska that likely serve as landscape-level linkages now and in the future given climate change; and 2) to identify conservation strategies with agency partners that will help maintain landscape-level connectivity by focusing conservation efforts, minimizing redundant research and monitoring, and sharing data and information for these areas. Climate models for Alaska are being used to investigate how vegetation classes at different scales and selected species with vastly different life strategies may respond to the climate shifts predicted for Alaska. This project will produce an initial report in 2009 which will provide the conceptual framework developed through this effort, identify shortcomings and research needs, recommend steps for bringing these concepts to finer scales, and identify conservation strategies to be explored. The initial modeling subjects used include biomes, vegetation communities (based on LANDFIRE), productivity/biodiversity (NDVI), caribou, Alaska marmot, trumpeter swan, and reed canary grass.
Establishing A National Land Cover Monitoring Center In Honduras Using MODIS Products
The RS/GIS Laboratory at Utah State University (USU) has entered an agreement with the Honduran government to establish a national land cover monitoring center in Honduras. The goal is to map and monitor land use activities using remotely sensed imagery. A preliminary product is a national land cover map derived from MODIS to be used as a baseline to monitor future land cover changes. The RS/GIS laboratory’s main assignments are: an assessment of the Honduran capabilities, an on-site training to key officials, an on-the-job training course for two months in USU for Honduran technicians, and consultation services in the establishment of the monitoring center. During the training course, we developed a protocol for analysis of MODIS data. The first land cover map was developed using a time series of 2007-2008 MODIS imagery and ancillary data. The proposed monitoring center is expected to commence operation in summer of 2009.
Finding Sites for Expanded Sampling for Great Gray Owls
Meadows support foraging, and adjacent tree stands support nesting for the Great Gray Owl in the Sierra Nevada. A detailed land cover map of Yosemite N.P. was used to examine meadow environments with appropriate tree habitats nearby. Most of the 1500 meadow polygons are too small to support an owl territory, but a cluster of meadow fragments may be sufficient. We employed a GIS neighborhood evaluation to examine clusters of meadow within 800 meter circles (accepted estimate of an owl home range). From cases where at least 10 acres of meadow were present, we selected thirty-three additional survey locations within Yosemite N.P. Since the neighborhood analysis was based on a AML script, when the definition of meadow changed, the analysis could be (and was) re-run quickly. Of the thirty-three additional locations sampled in 2008 as part of this effort, twenty-one yielded Great Gray Owl presence.
Google Maps and Tools for Spatial and Tabular Travel Route Data Updates
The Infra Roads application is the system of record for Forest Service roads data. Forest and Regional GIS specialists use this data in creating maps and conducting analyses. I-Web has a variety of tools to join roads layers and Infra data, as well as a set of tools to facilitate the maintenance of these complex linear data. This presentation will show examples of using I-Web applications such as the Spatial Editor for Travel Routes, the ArcMap toolbar, and the Access & Excel Add-In to help accomplish work such as MVUM. We’ll also show a new Google Maps based application for integrating Infra culverts and NRIS Water barriers, and show how to get roads data from the Published Data Mart (Corporate Data Warehouse) and the Geospatial Interface.
Islands of Green in a Sea of Brown: GIS and Scarce Water Sources in the Dry West
Streams, lakes, springs, and artificial ponds are crucial to life in the arid west. These features act as oases in unforgiving lands. They are of utmost importance for natural resource planning. Both the BLM and USFS have demanded the use of GIS to assist in the characterization of biota and habitat along these areas across the West.
L-3 High Resolution Catchments
L-3 has developed a High-Resolution (1:24,000) GIS Catchment Data Model that incorporates several existing models including NHD, NED, WBD, NLCD, and PRISM to form elevation derived catchments (Drainage Basins) taken from these sources as well as a stream network based on the high resolution NHD and includes several value-added attribute tables tied to these datasets that contain information on land cover classification, cumulative drainage areas, temperature and precipitation distributions, elevation and slope. This model provides an integrated suite of application-ready geospatial products.
Mineral Materials Permits: Google Maps and On-line Purchase
I-Web e-Permit provides internet-based applications allowing the public to purchase forest products and services on-line. Although this presentation is focused on the process for obtaining Mineral Material Permits for personal consumption, functionality will be expanded to Christmas Trees, Firewood, Mushrooms and more. Using FS Portal, the customer selects the permit site via a Google (or similar) Map-based interface that displays site location and materials available for purchase. All Google-specific functions are included. Site and commodity data will be sourced from the FS-corporate I-Web database. Permit transaction data is integrated into the I-Web corporate permit dataset. Program managers can track, report, and manage e-Permit activity for their Program Area using existing applications. Payments are processed through Pay.gov, with credit card or ACH. Once authorized, the customer prints a completed permit. Financial transaction data will be sent through the FS accounting system for reconciliation of cash receipts to credit-card/ACH payments.
Monitoring Post-Fire Revegetation of the 2007 Milford Flat Fire, Utah
Lisa Langs Stoner
In July 2007, Utah experienced the largest fire in the state’s history, burning approximately 363,000 acres in Millard and Beaver counties, involving several different plant communities, primarily salt desert scrub, sagebrush, and juniper. The Milford Flat Fire was lightning-caused but fueled by a number of converging conditions including drought, high winds, and an abundance of annual weeds. The Remote Sensing & GIS Laboratory at Utah State University is working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to identify pre-fire vegetation conditions and phenology patterns as part of a remote sensing-based monitoring effort to track effects of the fire on a landscape level. This presentation will discuss the monitoring protocol in development that is intended to provide the BLM a means to: 1) evaluate the success of revegetation efforts and seeding programs in the Milford Flat area and 2) to locate other potential sites throughout the state with similar fire risk.
MTBS: A Multi-Decadal Geospatial Data Record of Fire Severity for the United States
The Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project systematically maps the location, extent and severity of current and historical large fires in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. By the end of 2011, MTBS will complete the mapping of all large fires occurring between the years 1984 and 2010. For each MTBS fire, the project generates a suite of standardized GIS-ready datasets, and associated mapping and visualization products. These data are intended to support a variety of information needs and geospatial applications that require consistent data about fire effects through space and time. This presentation highlights available MTBS geospatial data products, their current status and extent, and methods for users to access these data. Additionally, MTBS historical fire severity mapping results, including a summarization of discernible patterns and trends, are presented for the western United States for the years 1984 to 2006.
Multi-Disciplinary Project Data Analysis Using the Geospatial Interface
The Geospatial Interface (GI) offers an opportunity to obtain significant amounts of the information used to support NEPA analysis from a single simple interface that integrates spatial and tabular data across a spectrum of subject areas.
Multi-Scale Operational Remote Sensing Sagebrush Habitat Monitoring Across Wyoming
North American sagebrush steppe extent and quality have dramatically decreased since European settlement. Operational and cost effective remote sensing solutions to assess and monitor sagebrush steppe habitats over large areas with sufficient detail are still lacking. In Wyoming, new research to assess and monitor eight sagebrush steppe components in greater detail (shrub, shrub height, sagebrush, big sagebrush, Wyomingensis sage brush, herbaceous, litter, and bare ground) is being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Ground sampled measurements are first made on segmented QuickBird data, and then extrapolated to coarser resolution images as continuous fields on 30m Landsat and 56m AWIFS using a regression tree. Results are validated with an independent accuracy assessment with typical root mean square error values for Landsat sagebrush predictions at 6.34 %. These assessment models are now supporting baseline habitat modeling and monitoring, with first phase change comparisons back to 1988 now being completed.
Road Planning for Harvest Unit Access on the Tongass National Forest
A solution technique was developed to solve a road building and harvest unit design problem on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. A transportation network was developed to describe the necessary road access and travel requirements for stand harvesting. This information was combined with forest-derived financial information and incorporated into a standard Linear Programming (LP) formulation. An iterative process was used to adjust stand-allocated road building costs and determine an efficient road building and harvest unit management strategy to achieve volume objectives. This discussion describes how the process was used during early project planning stages on Wrangell Island on the Tongass National Forest. An example is presented where results are improved $400,000 over a manually-derived solution.
Spatially Enabling the Geo-spatial Photo Archive Project
The Geo-spatial Photo Archive project has taken forest monitoring techniques to a new level. Through an easy to use interface, users can easily maintain photo data, and see the results in real time. Hyperlink functionality is provided in conjunction with supporting datasets, making decision making easier.
Spatiotemporal Patterns of Northern Spotted Owl Habitat in Western Oregon
The BLM’s Western Oregon Planning Revision identifies several conservation needs of the northern spotted owl related to habitat distribution, coverage, and connectivity. To evaluate the ability of five management alternatives to meet these requirements, estimates of spotted owl habitat within the planning boundary were developed and analyzed for all ownerships at six time increments using existing vegetation datasets derived from remotely sensed imagery, output from Options Harvest Models, and other ancillary data. Small and large blocks of functional nesting habitat were identified using roving focal windows at scales corresponding to the spotted owl’s mean annual home range and core nesting area. Results reveal different degrees of habitat development and spatial organization between alternatives. Predicted habitat conditions under the preferred alternative helped inform the development of a network of Late-Successional Management Areas (LSMAs) for future spotted owl habitat conservation on federal lands.
The Effect of Human-Caused Visual Impacts on Restorative Character of an Arid Wildland Recreation Setting
Thore (TC) Christensen
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of visible visitor-cause impacts on judgments about the perceived restorative character in natural areas. Research participants were obtained through undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Utah. Photo elicitation will be used for data collection. Each participant viewed panoramic images (n=5) of landscapes characterized by different degrees of visible visitor-caused impacts as characterized by user-created campsites. Campsites were mapped using mapping-grade GPS technology, post-processed, and added to a GIS. While viewing the image set, participants will complete the Perceived Restorative Scale (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989). Data will be analyzed using linear modeling techniques. This research will test the hypothesis that perceived restorativeness declines with increased landscape scarring. This study will inform land managers who set Limits of Acceptable Change on public lands (i.e., preserve natural restorative qualities for certain recreation opportunities).
Using FACTS Data in the Geospatial Interface
The class covers the basics of working with FACTS data from I-Web and CDW. Learn how to make useful joins to the spatial data and create a usable GIS dataset complete with attributes. The demo will show the QA/QC tools available for FACTS data. Many of the routines validate the basic coding of the spatial or IWEB data. Other routines evaluate if there are matching spatial and IWEB records. Use of the FACTS data without running the basic QA/QCs and fixing the identified errors can result in significant errors. Also, learn how to summarize your year-end accomplishments quickly and easily by producing either a summary table, GIS map or both. These products query the CDW and access the final Oracle views. For many users this is a faster and easier way to access these data instead of the conventional IWEB dashboard method.
Using GIS and Google Earth to Create Recreation Demand Analysis
Dennis Garcia, El Aran
Introduction: This outlines the process for estimating practical recreation demand from existing information sources using GIS and Google earth for application in spatial orientation, project planning, forest planning, Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), ARRA, Recreation Site Improvement (RSI), education and interpretation. When the forest is using this process to focus on analysis beyond the forest plan, the main data sources discussed below can be dissected for specific activities or segments of the recreating public. Additionally, greater emphasis on other studies that pertain to specific activity or local issues will be needed. Process Framework The framework to analyze recreation demand is:
Using ROADS/TRAILS/MVUM data in the Geospatial Interface
These roads, trails and Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) products currently in the GI use the 2004 Data Dictionary Standard. In this module, not only will you learn how to display your Road and Trail data but also you will be able to join the GIS layers to various INFRA data to create local data complete with attributes. You will learn how to check the data quality as the spatial relates to the tabular. You will be able to identify potential data entry errors at INFRA and identify calibration issues with the spatial. Additionally, you be able to preview your MVUM and identify deficiencies in ATM coding. There are some QA/QC queries that will compare the GIS lengths (mileages) from the spatial layer to the mileages entered into INFRA. Often times there are discrepancies between these two sources and these queries will identify any anomalies. In addition, there are several useful ways of displaying the roads and trails by attributes in the INFRA data. These are helpful when a quick map product is needed.
Using Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species (TESP) and Invasive Species (IS) Data Using the GI and I-WEB Output Tools
The new fully spatial TESP and IS application uses a suite of output tools (GI, Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW), I-Web User Views, and MS Access/Excel Add-in Tool) that provide data from the application for a multitude of uses. The most common and useful to the end user, is the Geospatial Interface. The overview will show how an array of tools can be used to obtain useful outputs for analyzing TESP and IS data.
Using Wildlife Data in the Geospatial Interface
Learn how to work with your wildlife data stored at I-Web. This presentation will cover how to use the Geospatial Interface ArcMap extension to examine the GIS layers for Wildlife Observations and Wildlife Sites and run standard reports. This demo will begin with loading transactional data into a map, combining wildlife data into new polygon layers, and finally generation of several table outputs and formatted reports.
Utility of FSSDE Vegetation Stand Density, Size Class Maps for FIA
Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) is a national, design-based, strategic forest inventory program of the USDA Forest Service. FIA data are extremely relevant to National Forest information needs, appropriate for strategic forest planning inside and outside forest boundaries. In this case study, FIA permanent plot data measured over the period 2003 to 2007 and two independent map classifications: (1) the National Land Cover Data tree canopy density map; (2) FSSDE vegetation stand density, size class maps for the Chippewa, Superior, Hiawatha, Huron–Manistee, Ottawa, and Chequamegon–Nicolet National Forests are used for stratified estimation of forest area and growing-stock volume. Relative efficiency is used to measure estimate precision gain, which is the ratio of the stratified estimate variance to the simple random sample estimate variance of the population parameter of interest. Stand density, size class maps yield greater precision gains for volume and smaller to no differences for forest area.
Watershed Boundary Dataset Stewardship and Integration With the National Hydrography Dataset
This session will give an overview and national status of the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). In 2009 delivery and Stewardship of this data will take a different direction with the data being integrated with the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) at all levels: programmatic, spatial, database design and maintenance, science applications.
WWETAC Forest Threat Mapper
Charlie Schrader-Patton, Alan Ager
Forests and rangelands of the western United States are vulnerable to environmental stresses and disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, disease, invasive species, drought, and development. These stresses can have significant and long-lasting effects on ecological and socioeconomic values. Land managers need state-of-the-art information and tools that help them anticipate and solve problems. Many geospatial datasets describing these threats to wildlands have been created; what is lacking is comprehensive viewing application displaying and summarizing these threats and their spatial co-occurrence with highly valued resources. This presentation will describe a cooperative effort by the Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC) and the Remote Sensing Applications Center to develop a Threat Mapper that will serve as a decision support tool for land managers.