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ForestView® - University of Idaho Example

Collaborating Partners

Since 2004, Northwest Management Inc (NMI) has worked collaboratively with University of Idaho (UofI), and since 2019 the U of I Experimental Forest (UIEF) and staff, with a collective goal of increasing the research and applications of technology across the forestry supply chain. From the development of student curriculum and multiple Digital Inventories®, through to publications in biometrics, growth & yield, fire risk, and harvest planning, our collaborative team is excited about the future.

Northwest Management Inc’s focus is on collection, QC and processing of LiDAR datasets into GIS compatible Digital Inventory® products covering forest health, forest inventory, silviculture, fire risk, avoided cost, and more across the landscape. All LiDAR datasets are verified through the collection of georeferenced field data and in 2022, submeter 4-band imagery. NMI is excited to support this collaborative effort and continue to expand on how our ForestView® Digital Inventory® products and innovative research within the CNR and UIEF can further Industry forests, Tribal lands, research faculty, graduate students, and the collective efforts of all for a greater understanding of LiDAR uses and accuracies within forest inventory and operational forestry.

The University of Idaho Experimental Forest

The UIEF is a mixed-conifer temperate forest representing many of the merchantable conifer species commercially available throughout the inland west. The forest has a diverse range of stand structures resulting from years of multi-use management for timber, research, and education purposes. Currently, there are multiple Digital Inventory® vintages across the UIEF beginning in 2019. The following are examples from within the highlighted area of the West Hatter Creek watershed.

LiDAR + ForestView® Examples

LiDAR + ForestView® Examples

High-Resolution Lidar scan (20ppm) in the West Hatter Creek unit of the UIEF

ForestView® georeferenced individual trees colored by tree-height from tallest down to 6-feet

ForestView® derived individual tree gross volume totals by timber stand polygon across the landscape.

ForestView® “matched” individual-tree height-change measurements following multiple lidar flights, 2 growing seasons apart in time.

ForestView® 10-meter site index/productivity map aggregated from individual-tree height-change measurements.

This next image demonstrated a comparison of the variance and error differences between population measurements with Lidar and sampling from traditional methods.

2020 Lidar Inventory Canopy Height Model

The Digital Inventory® can be accessed through the ForestView® portal and custom selections of trees or stands can be made by a user.

Use the Slider to see before and after images

Species Distribution

This is the 2021 Digital Inventory® for the UIEF with single-trees colored by height. It is an interactive layer laid over-top the canopy height model (CHM). Several summary statistics are displayed automatically for each selection of Height, DBH, BA, and Volume.

Use the Slider to see before harvest and after harvest images of forest change

Species Distribution

Gross Board FT by Species

ArcOnline 3D viewer format

The UIEF has also been published into an ArcOnline 3D viewer format where the positions and single-tree metrics for the entire forest can be interacted with on a base map of Google Earth Imagery. Multiple copies of the digital forest can be uploaded in this viewer and used to simulate silvicultural prescriptions or post fire mortality by removing trees within one copy to visualize either “harvested” or “burned” conditions.

Measures Change Over Time

The following images are from the same location on the UIEF. The middle images are of the 2020 Lidar while the righthand images are of the same location in the 2021 Lidar. The upper Left image displays the height change in meters for the trees remaining after two harvest operations as expressed growth of the un-harvested trees.

Individual Tree Change and Growth Rate Detection

Height Change (meters)

UofI CHM 2020 Lidar

UofI CHM 2021 Lidar

Logging Path Detection from Multi-year Lidar

Height Change (meters)

UofI DEM 2020 Lidar

UofI DEM 2021 Lidar

These additional images describe the near-surface detectable changes between the 2020 and 2021 Lidar acquisitions. The first image on the left displays near-surface changes in elevation that coincide with harvest operations and equipment pathways.