IGIS was pleased to attend an excellent “Forest and Shrubland LiDAR Derived Products Workshop” jointly held by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and California Department of Conservation (DOC), on March 17th.
CNRA has a budget for supporting the development of useful/high value data products that can support forest and shrubland planning and management decisions, including for emergency response. In the interest of seeking feedback from experts and potential users of such data products across the state of California, the goal of this workshop was to gather information for prioritizing LiDAR derived products for fire, vegetation, biodiversity, hydrology, climate change, and public safety decisions in California's forests and shrublands.
The workshop began with an outstanding presentation by Dr. Nathaniel (Nate) Roth (DOC), which provided a brief introduction to LiDAR (light detection and ranging), and operation derived products of this technology. Kass Green and Mark Tukman, from Tukman Geospatial, then presented several excellent use case examples of LiDAR in California, including for: topographic and hydrologic mapping, fine scale vegetation mapping, forest health and management, and vegetation/fuel mapping for forest fire planning and assessing impacts. Next came another impressive presentation by David (DJ) Bandrowski from the Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department, which cited multiple examples of how LiDAR and aerial imagery have been used for management and restoration of forest ecosystems within the Klamath River Basin. These examples include for: Sediment flux, transport and change following dam removal, point cloud classifications of vegetation vs. bare ground, designing and modeling river systems for planning and assessment, and finally for construction projects.
The workshop concluded with a series of surveys, conducted in ESRI's Survey 123 application, to assess and prioritize the needs of the 179 attendees at the workshop, as a representative sample of prospective users. The results of these surveys will undoubtedly be used to steer the allocation of funds provided to CNRA by the California State Legislature to have the most efficient and valuable impacts possible.
A great thanks is owed to Dr. Nathaniel (Nate) Roth, and all the people at DOC and CNRA, for hosting this workshop, as well as the outstanding contributors from Tukman Geospatial and the Yurok Tribe.
Sean Hogan and Shane Feirer
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Informatics and GIS Statewide Program