USDA Forest Service
 

Economic Aspects of Forest Management on Public Lands

 
 

Mailing Address:

Forestry Sciences Lab
800 E. Beckwith Ave
Missoula, Montana 59801

(406) 542-4150

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Frequently Asked Questions about MAGIS

  1. Do I have to purchase MAGIS?

  2. Is MAGIS strictly a Region 1 tool?

  3. Can I use MAGIS for projects WITHOUT timber sales?

  4. What kind of data do I need to run MAGIS?

  5. Should I get my local GIS expert to run MAGIS for me ?

  6. What kind of support is available for MAGIS?

  7. How do I build the Planning Framework, including the pathways, for my planning area? Can I get help setting it up?

  8. Can I run MAGIS without the SOLVER?

  9. How often is MAGIS updated

  10. What if my question isn't answered here?

Do I have to purchase MAGIS?
No. MAGIS is in the public domain.  You may copy MAGIS and redistribute it, but you may not sell it or reverse engineer or otherwise take it apart.  The commercial solver that MAGIS uses has to be purchased from KETRON Management Science.  We hope to have an internal solver built for MAGIS express by the end of summer 2003.

Is MAGIS strictly a Region 1 tool?
Not at all.  MAGIS is applicable to any Region, any Forest and any District.  User Defined parameters form the 'Planning Framework' and should be specific for a fairly wide user-defined geographic area, but can be as detailed or as general as desired.

Can I use MAGIS for projects WITHOUT timber sales?
Yes, but you might want to use MAGIS Professional.  MAGIS EXPRESS is focussed on timber harvest and access scheduling, though you could use it to schedule other activities as well, like prescription burning and non-commercial thinning.  Any vegetation management activity costs can be entered, ANY revenue-producing events can be entered, in either version.  MAGIS Professional lets you add non-timber outputs, outputs from roads (like sediment) and do a more fine-tuned watershed analysis.

What kind of data do I need to run MAGIS?
The planning framework data include pathway definitions (we have some sets available that were developed in conjunction with SIMPPLLE: Northern Region, Region 6, Region 5, and Region 3.  Activity cost amounts, timber values (MAGIS Professional lets you set up an equation for price)  lists of management regimes, rules for allocation treatment options, rules for timber volume growth and harvest volume, are all needed for the planning framework.  The GIS data ('Project Area') include two coverages: a treatment unit polygon coverage, attributed with the basic pathways and starting volume.  The road network coverage should include any proposed roads.  Road options are helpful, but could be entered in MAGIS.  Loading point defaults are also needed, and could be constructed outside of MAGIS or with a GIS utility in MAGIS.

Should I get my local GIS expert to run MAGIS for me?
You don't need to be a GIS expert to run MAGIS, but you will need to be able to provide GIS coverages or shapefiles that meet the modeling system criteria. GIS screens in MAGIS are fairly simple to use.

What kind of support is available for MAGIS?
Call, email or snail mail us at RMRS in Missoula.  We will address technical problems, how-to questions, and general modeling questions.  We are happy to work with you in setting up your model, and can give advice on solution strategies as well.  The MAGIS manuals are installed with MAGIS, and are available on the web.  MAGIS also comes with context-sensitive help.

How do I build the Planning Framework, including the pathways, for my planning area, can I get help setting it up?
The Planning Framework can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.  Pathway files are available for several areas in which we have done studies using both MAGIS and SIMPPLLE.  The caveat with these is that your vegetation data has to be attributed with the state definitions to match these pathways. 

Can I run MAGIS without the commercial SOLVER?
Yes, up to the point where you want to run the solutions.  If you want to run MAGIS but don't want to/can't afford to buy the commercial solver, contact us and we should be able to work out a solution.

How often is MAGIS updated?
We anticipate making frequent updates to MAGIS through the end of this year (2003); we are still adding GIS capabilities, but it should stabilize after that.

What if my question isn't here?
Please send an email to let us know if you have a question that wasn't answered here, or if you wish more detail about MAGIS.

USDA Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station
Last Modified: December 14, 2006
Modified by: Janet Sullivan


USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.