Montana Department of Fish Wildlife & Parks Forest Inventory and Sustainable Yield Study 2012

MB&G was contracted by the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP) to complete two phases of a forest inventory and sustainable yield study on state parks, wildlife management areas and fishing access sites in Montana.

Phase 1 of the project consisted of developing stand-based inventories for over 50 sites spread over diverse ecological regions across the state.  Forested study areas were partitioned into ecologically similar regions and automated image segmentation techniques were used to spatially segment vegetation into management stands. Semi-automated classification was then performed using Trimble’s eCognition and Esri’s ArcMap in order to classify management stands into ten species groups, four size classes, and five stocking classes. Additionally, insect damage areas were identified.

All sites with greater than 50 acres were visited by forest cruise teams and inventoried for timber volume.  In addition to producing field maps for foresters, MB&G also developed a custom mobile mapping application that leveraged Esri data models and Mobile Software Development Kits for Android in order to facilitate field data capture and validation of stand classifications. MB&G developed growth and yield estimates in order to provide a framework for sustainable yield decisions.

Phase 2 consisted of developing a single, integrated, Esri File Geodatabase to support and enable the State to monitor and track timber harvest and sustainable yield on forested lands and infrastructure maintenance and replacement schedules. This database builds upon FWP’s forest inventory and management database that was also developed by MB&G, as well as the existing FWP geodatabase of WMA assets. In addition to combining these databases into a single geodatabase to facilitate integrated management of timber resources and assets, enhancements were made to the data model to improve data integrity, flexibility and to support a wider range of asset tracking and management activities.


Montana Department of Fish Wildlife & Parks