NWFP Effectiveness Monitoring

NWFP: Monitoring Existing Forest Vegetation in Support of Northwest Forest Plan Effectiveness Monitoring

LARSE invesitgators: WB CohenZ Yang

The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was approved in 1994 to cover management of federal forestlands in Washington, Oregon and California within the range of the northern spotted owl. The basic monitoring approach is periodic assessment of late-successional and old-growth forest.

Monitoring reports are based on the best available science, technology, and data, which continue to evolve. The 15-year NWFP monitoring report, completed in 2010, was based on maps of existing vegetation for two 'bookend' dates (1994/6 and 2006/7), developed using Gradient Nearest Neighbors (GNN) imputation) and disturbances mapped annually with LandTrendr methods for Landsat change detection. The current map dates, used in the 20-year report, are for 1993 and 2012 across the entire NWFP area. Whereas all maps were developed using gradient nearest neighbor (GNN) imputation based on Landsat time-series (LandTrendr) data, the current maps incorporate new plot data and several improvements to modeling techniques. This approach offers the benefits of both methods: the detailed vegetation attributes and analytical flexibility of nearest neighbor methods, and information on stand and landscape dynamics through time from LandTrendr. Further refinement of our methods will allow us to provide nearest neighbor (NN) vegetation maps of sufficient reliability on a five-year refresh cycle. Additionally, on a five-year cycle, the TimeSync tool will be used to validate resulting time series of NN (existing vegetation) and disturbance maps to evaluate whether depiction of areas of landscape change are sufficiently reliable.

More details at:

Funding: US Forest Service

Collaborators: D Bell (UFSF PNW);  J Ohmann, M Gregory, H Roberts (OSU); R Davis (USFS R6)

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