NWFP Disturbance Mapping

Northwest Forest Plan Disturbance mapping and update

LARSE has a long tradition of mapping stand-replacing disturbance in Pacific Northwest forests. In support of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP), designated in 1994 to cover management of federal forestlands in Washington, Oregon and California within the range of the northern spotted owl, LARSE has been involved in several mapping projects.

Initial NWFP Disturbance Mapping: 

This project's goal was the detection and mapping of stand replacement disturbances occurring in the Northwest Forest Plan Area between 1984 and 2002. Both clear-cuts and major fire events produce significant changes in forest cover that are readily detected in sequential Landsat images. Building on earlier LARSE research (Cohen et al., 1998; Oetter et al., 2000; Cohen et al., 2002), we employed a relatively simple, cost-effective change-detection method that is roughly 90% accurate (Cohen et al., 2002). The immediate use of this map was to monitor the effectiveness of the Late-Successional and Old-Growth Module of the Northwest Forest Plan. Other potential uses included habitat modeling and regional evaluation of changing forest management practices.


NWFP Disturbance Mapping update:

This project's goal was to update NWFP disturbance maps to 2007 using yearly imagery and trajectory based change detection as described in the North American Forest Disturbance Project.