Maps illustrate 23 years of change on Northwest forests
By using historical remote-sensing data, researchers developed maps of annual forest change between 1984 and 2007. These maps, with a resolution of 98 feet (30 meters), of western Oregon, western Washington, and northern California show changes from timber harvests (thinnings to clearcuts), fires (low to high severity), insects and pathogens, and forest increase associated with recovery after disturbance. As a series, the maps contain an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal detail. The ability to illustrate forest change over time was made possible by publicly available satellite data and new algorithms developed by the station and its partners.
Land managers and regulatory agencies are using these maps to assess current land management, the status and trends of populations of threatened and endangered species, and develop innovative approaches. For example, the Northwest Forest Plan Effectiveness Monitoring Program is using them to assess the effects of forest management and natural disturbance on wildlife habitat for the spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and other old-growth-related species; watershed condition; and socioeconomic factors of forest-product-dependent communities. The National Marine Fisheries Service is using these data to assess effects of forest change on the threatened and endangered runs of the coho salmon in Oregon.
Forest Service Partners