Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment GeoService (WETAG) Metadata

(Unless indicated otherwise, all services are published on the WETAG servers. Not all services are available in all maps.)

High Value Resources


The High Value Resources layers were developed for the Wildfire Risk and Hazard: Procedures for the First Approximation (Calkin, et al. 2010). Details about these data sources and the processes used in building these layers are summarized below; for complete details see Calkin, et al. 2010. All Raster layers are 270m in resolution.

Cell Towers - Tower locations were obtained from FCC's GIS Website (http://wireless.fcc.gov/geographic/index.htm). Data obtained March 31, 2009.

Recreation Sites - These point features are comprised of five different layers from different agencies. USDA Forest Service (USFS) Campground locations were obtained from the Geospatial Tech. Service Center's FSGeodata Gateway. Ranger Station locations were acquired from ESRI's Data and Maps 9.3 Database. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Recreation Sites and Campgrounds were obtained from GeoCommunicator's National Integrated Land System (NILS) GIS Web Service. National Park Service (NPS) Visitor Service locations and Campgrounds were downloaded from the NPS DataStore (www.nps.gov/gis/dtat_info). Data downloaded August 1, 2008.

Ski Areas - Alpine Ski Area locations were obtained from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC). The point locations were verified in Google Earth, with some removed because of closure and removal of infrastructure. Locations represent the primary base area facilities.

National Historical Trails - This vector data set was acquired from the NPS Data Store (http://science.nature.nps.gov/nrdata) and contains historic trails such as the Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark Trail, and Iditarod Trail. Other trails were added to the layer (Continental Divide Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Natchez Trace Trail). The NPS maintains a database containing 26 identified National and Historic Trails; spatial representations of 16 of these trails have been located and included in this layer.

Airsheds - Class I Airshed (Clean Air Act) polygons were obtained from the NPS Air Resources Division (www.nature.nps.gov/air/maps/receptors/index.cfm). These areas include National Wilderness Areas, Memorial Parks, National Parks; managers are required to protect air quality and maintain visibility in these airsheds.

Residential Structure Densities 1 and 2 - These raster layers were derived from the LandScan data developed by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), which estimates the population in each cell using an algorithm that incorporates census data, nighttime lights, slope, road proximity, and other factors. The population data were classified to represent built structures. Residential Structure Density 1 is 1-2 structures per cell, and Residential Structure Density 2 is 3 or more structures per cell.

SILVIS Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) - This is a thematic layer of 2000 Census Blocks classified by housing density and vegetation interspersion developed by the SILVIS Lab of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For detailed information on the classification and modeling methods click here.

Fire Adapted Ecosystems - This raster layer represents fire-dependent ecosystems where the management goal is to re-introduce fire. The dataset was derived from fire regime and fire return interval data from the LANDFIRE project (www.landfire.org).

Critical Habitat - This raster layer is comprised of critical habitat of federally listed (US Fish and Wildlife Service) Threatened and Endangered species that have been identified as most likely to be negatively impacted by fire. It is not a comprehensive coverage of critical habitat of all Threatened and Endangered species.

Sage Grouse Habitat - The Sage Grouse is not a federally listed (US Fish and Wildlife Service) Threatened and Endangered species, but is has been identified as a species that is likely to be adversely affected by fire. This raster layer was developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Sage Grouse Mapping Team.


Wildland Threat Layers


Selected layers representing wildland threats have been included in the GeoService as examples of the types of threat data that can be displayed in client viewers.

Sirex noctilio - The Sirex woodwasp (Sirex noctilio) is an invasive exotic insect capable of significant mortality in pine species. These 1km raster datasets were created from a model developed by the USDA Forest Service Forest Health and Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET). Variables such as host type, soil moisture, and proximity to introduction points were modeled to create Susceptibility and Establishment Potential layers. This is a product of the 2006 National Insect and Disease Risk Map. For more information on this dataset, click here.

Ips typographus - The European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) is an invasive exotic insect capable of significant mortality in spruce species. These 1km raster datasets were created from a model developed by the USDA Forest Service Forest Health and Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET). Variables such as host type, disturbance potential, and proximity to introduction points were modeled to create Susceptibility and Establishment Potential layers. This is a product of the 2006 National Insect and Disease Risk Map. For more information on this dataset, click here.

Basal Area Loss - This 270m raster dataset depicts the potential basal area loss calculated by 188 different insect and disease models as a percentage of the total basal area in the cell. The models were developed by the USDA Forest Service Forest Health and Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET) National Insect and Disease Risk Map project. This is a product of the 2012 National Insect and Disease Risk Map and is published by FHTET. For more information on this dataset, click here.

Multiple Agents - This is a summary overlay of binary layers of the top 11 forest damage agents (ranked by basal area loss) where 1 = greater than 25% basal area loss, 0 = Less than 25% basal area loss. For example, if a pixel in this layer is 2, then 2 agents may potentially reduce the basal area by 25% or more over the 15 year NIDRM analysis period at this location. This is a product of the 2006 National Insect and Disease Risk Map. For a list of the 11 agents, click here.

Fire Hazard - Burn Probability - Each cell in this 270m raster dataset contains the annual probability that it will burn at any intensity. The dataset was produced using the Large Fire Simulator (FSim) which was developed by Mark Finney at the USDA Forest Service Missoula Fire Lab (http://www.firelab.org/) and was used for modeling fire risk in Wildfire Risk and Hazard: Procedures for the First Approximation (Calkin, et al. 2010).

Fire Hazard - Conditional Flame Length - Each cell in this 270m raster dataset contains the probable fire intensity (expressed as flame length) if the cell should burn. This dataset was produced from outputs from the Large Fire Simulator (FSim) which was developed by Mark Finney at the USDA Forest Service Missoula Fire Lab (http://www.firelab.org/) and was used for modeling fire risk in Wildfire Risk and Hazard: Procedures for the First Approximation (Calkin, et al. 2010).

Fragmentation/Connectivity - These 270m pixel layers were developed from 1992 NLCD layers using methods described in here. Two layers display the causes of fragmentation (natural, human-caused) and one depicts forest connectivity. Data are scaled from 0-100. The three layers can be displayed independently, or in combination as a RGB layer where R = Human Fragmentation, G = Forest Connectivity, and B = Natural Fragmentation. Interpreting the colors in this three band layer is described here.

Climate Change These 15 km resolution layers were downloaded from the Nature Conservancy's Climate Wizard website (http://www.climatewizard.org/#). Data from many different circulation models and scenarios exist; based upon input from climate scientists, data for mid-century estimates of percent change in precipitation and change in mean annual temperature (degrees F) derived using the Hadley circulation model and an ensemble of 16 different circulation models are included in WETAG. The emissions scenario used was A2 (High). To access the Climate Wizard, click here.

USGS VegDRI The USGS VegDRI map service is a modeled drought severity layer compiled from MODIS satellite data, climate data, land use and cover, and soil type. This layer is updated weekly. These WMS services are published by the USGS (http://vegdri.cr.usgs.gov). For more information, click here.

Forests 2 Faucets These map services are threats (fire, insect and disease, development) compiled for watersheds that serve as municipal watersources. These data were produced and published by the USDA Forest Service Ecosystems Services Office. For more information, click here.


Environmental Characterization Layers


Selected layers representing landcover and past disturbances have been included in the GeoService:

Forest Biomass - This map 250m resolution was created by modeling forest biomass collected on FIA sample plots as functions of more than sixty geospatially continuous predictor layers, including Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data, digital elevation data, and climate data. For more information on this dataset, click here.

RSAC/NASA Disturbance - The US Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET, also US Forest Service) have developed a change detection method using Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data where disturbances (fire, wind, insect and disease damage) are mapped every 16 days. Change is determined by comparing the current MODIS image to a baseline dataset comprised of the previous 2-5 years of MODIS imagery for the same seasonally adjusted 16-day period. These 270m layers are a dynamic map service which is updated as each new change layer is processed; current is the most recent product and previous_1 and previous_2 are the layers for the preceding two 16-day periods. A new Persistence product has been developed starting in 2013; these hopefully will focus more on disturbance related to insect and disease rather than other causes. The 3 yr persistence product works well with short term events such as Gypsy Moth while the 5 yr product is suited to long term degradation to conifers. These services are published by FHTET. For more information on this dataset, click here.

The US Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) and NASA Stennis have developed a parallel process also using MODIS data (ForWarn); current and previous disturbance layers from both the NASA and RSAC efforts are included for comparison. The layers are on a continuous scale from 0-100 with 100 representing regrowth (substantial vegetation increase from the baseline) and 1 representing significant vegetation loss from disturbance. Details on the NASA/EFETAC project are available here.