August 2020: Interview Dr. Sanath Sathyachandran; Next Remap Release coming soon; Good reading - Martens!
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satellite picture of California wildfires, August 21, 2020
The LANDFIRE team sends well wishes to those fighting wildfires across the west and beyond. We are grateful for the dedication of these brave professionals and appreciate
their service.

Interested in finding data that was used to create the image above?
Visit USGS EarthExplorer.
Behind the Scenes at LANDFIRE:
A Conversation with Dr. Sanath 
Picture of Sanath Sathyachandran
Dr. Sanath Sathyachandran joined the LF team as a Research Scientist at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in South Dakota in 2018. Sanath is currently investigating ways to use remote sensing data from a host of satellites to detect changed and disturbed landscapes. Below Sanath demonstrates the power of using an experimental filter to improve data precision and reduce the amount of human intervention required to decipher and translate satellite data. Read the full interview here. The images below are taken from the interview.
landsat image

Landsat 8 False color composite image of a 30 km x 30 km subset showing clear cuts in Oregon, near (43.8331 N,-123.5733 E). Vegetation is green and bare ground (clear-cut) areas are pink. Note: different shades of green can suggest different vegetation or different phenological states and intermediate colors (i.e. light pink, light green) may represent different mixtures of vegetation and bare ground. 
landsat image

All white colors represent raw machine detections. After the experimental filter (that is described in the article) is applied, machine detections are assigned one of these three colors: red/yellow = represents some sort of landscape change, grey = no change. This demonstrates that such filters have the potential to minimize errors, reduce LF product latency, and relieve some of the human effort required in this process.
Reminder - LF Remap updated last month
Last month LANDFIRE released the most significant upgrade in its 15-year history - LANDFIRE Remap for the conterminous U.S. (CONUS). This release includes new national vegetation and fuels base maps, as well as a promise of improved accuracy and ease of use for what has become one of the most widely-cited data sources in the Nation. This next release will complete the delivery of Remap products for CONUS.picture of the continental U.S.; decorative

The next LF Remap release will include the following:
  • Fire Regime Group Data (FRG) - Succession Class, Vegetation Condition Class, and Vegetation Departure. These data support fire and landscape management planning goals in the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, the Department of the Interior Wildland Fire Management Policy, and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.
  • VegetationBiophysical Settings (BPS) with an updated attribute table that includes estimates of historic Mean Fire Return Interval, historic Percent Low-severity Fires, historic Percent Mixed-severity Fires, historic Percent Replacement-severity Fires, and an updated and refined historic Fire Regime Group classification. Note that this fire regime information was provided as separate data layers in previous versions of LANDFIRE, but are now delivered as attributes of the BpS spatial layer as indicated above.
  • Fuel - Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS). FCCS summarizes and classifies wildland fuel characteristics and can be used to predict surface fire behavior, crown fire potential, and available fuel for estimating consumption, fire effects, and emissions.
LANDFIRE continues to be an essential behind the scenes driver for land managers and beyond. Check out the new Remap release here.
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What's new with the Wildfire Risk to Communities website? 
October 2020 | Details and registration link coming soon

LANDFIRE Remap in the Northeastern U.S.
October 21, 2020 | Details and registration link coming soon
Good Reading...LF at work
prescribed fireShort Publication | CONNELLY: LANDFIRE an important conservation tool, Bingham News Chronicle. August 2020. Retired Wildlife Biologist, Dr. Jack Connelly interviews LF Team members, Kori Blankenship & Megan Dettenmaier for the Bingham News Chronicle.

Scientific Journal Publication | Resource Use by Marten at Fine Spatial Extents; Gary J. Roloff, Bradford R. Silet, Steven M. Gray, John M. Humphreys, Eric M. Clark; Mammal Research. Read the full paper. July 2020

American Marten in tree
This study investigated the space use patterns of 13 (12 males, 1 female) American marten (M. americana) that were collared and followed in the East Unit of the Hiawatha National Forest in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In addition to other model covariates (roads, hydrogeography lines), the authors calculated the proportion of conifer, hardwood, tall hardwood, short hardwood, tall conifer, short conifer, and herbaceous openings for various spatial extents from data derived from the LF product suite, specifically EVT - existing vegetation type; EVH - vegetation height; EVC - vegetation cover. They found martin core use areas were associated with tall deciduous forests, conifer cover, and in riparian areas (not necessarily associated with rivers or lakeshores). While this core use information provides valuable insight into the movements of marten in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the authors caution readers about interpreting this data to mean these areas represent high quality habitat. Instead this study lays the groundwork for using remotely sensed, resolute (30-m) data to understand marten space use in the Great Lakes Region which could be integrated into future marten conservation efforts. Read the full paper to get the big picture. 
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The LANDFIRE Program is a cooperative agreement between the USDA Forest Service, agencies of the Department of the Interior, and The Nature Conservancy. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Program is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.