Mgmt Implications

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Management Implications

Results of this project demonstrate that canopy fuel variables can be estimated and mapped over the landscape using LIDAR and IFSAR at a cost of approximately $1-2 per acre in mature conifer forests of Washington.  Additional testing in other forest types is needed to geographically extend the methodology; however, it is expected that similar results would be achievable in most conifer forests with canopy heights greater than 10 m. Remotely sensed GIS layers of key canopy fuel variables can be generated and used in fire spread and fire behavior models to help prioritize fuel treatment planning at the landscape level. 

LIDAR/IFSAR can provide baseline data on the terrain surface and vegetation structure for a host of resource monitoring, measurement, and inventory activities.  LIDAR/IFSAR metrics can be used in many other resource areas that need objective, landscape level estimates of key vegetation cover such as inventory, wildlife habitat, slope stability analysis, geologic mapping, stream channel mapping, and road design. 

LIDAR data collected at approximately 4 returns per square meter is sufficient to generate vegetation structure metrics that are adequate for most analysis.  Specialized software that can handle the immense volume of data typically collected with such high-resolution LIDAR/IFSAR missions has been developed and is being distributed as freeware through the USDA Forest Service, Remote Sensing Application Center.

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