Enhanced Productivity Project (LAMF) 120-403

Description: A forest inventory is a standardized database that describes the spatial location and make-up of an entire forest area on a stand by stand basis. Almost all forest inventories used in the world are now computerized, and based in G.I.S (Geographical Information Systems). Individual forest stands are defined as polygons, with associated information about each forest stand in term of attributes such as species composition, crown-closure, year of origin, and height contained within the database.

Forest inventory continues to be a difficult and somewhat formidable issue. Everyone knows that we have to do something to improve and update our databases, but they are not yet sure exactly how to do it. This project will help us to better understand the strengths and limitations of the different remote sensing technologies that form the precursors to a good forest inventory database.

This study will allow for comparing and testing new and different methods of collecting forestry data including remote sensed digital imagery, and large-scale aerial photography. If applied correctly, much of the new technology could compliment existing approaches to creating and maintaining forest inventory databases. It would also be valuable in the collection of data that supplements and refines general forest management, research, and monitoring activities. The application of these technologies could allow for a cost efficient means of identifying forest structure and composition, and deriving forest ecosystem classification.

The Enhanced Forest Inventory Project will contribute to the development and better understanding of remote sensing tools for forest inventory production. It will be important to forest managers everywhere that cost effective tools and standards are readily available that allow for the creation and maintenance of an accurate and up to date forest inventory.

The Project Team: Wally Bidwell, Lake Abitibi Model Forest

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