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September 2016  Bulletin - Partner Spotlight
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September: Partner Spotlight Issue
LANDFIRE is collaborative by nature, and has enjoyed many productive relationships with our various  partners  during the last decade. In this issue, we shine light on four collaborators who help LANDFIRE achieve important goals and extend the breadth of product development and applications. And, because these cooperative alliances are important – pivotal – to the ongoing evolution of the LANDFIRE product suite, we’ll  continue to spotlight our collaborators  in future bulletins.

Each issue will also feature a LANDFIRE product application. This month we look at pressures that weigh on  sage grouse  habitats in the U.S. and how land managers use LF to analyze conditions so as to make informed decisions. Related: we've provided links to macro reviews that examine sagebrush shrubland and sagebrush steppe ecosystems. Feel free to jump right in on those. But first -- the news.

To keep our Bulletins short, we use "LF" throughout along with oft-used acronyms.
Click for LF Program Partners list info on the website.

 
News

Macro Review is Underway -- The newest option in the BpS review project is designed to facilitate an examination of how LF BpS models and descriptions relate to one another across large geographies. Kori Blankenship kicks it off by asking for review on Intermountain Basin Big Sagebrush Shrubland and Intermountain Basin Big Sagebrush Steppe ecosystems. Jim Smith heads the effort regarding Southern Piedmont Dry Oak (-Pine) Forest [BpS 1360]. YOUR review is needed for these and other ecosystems.

Save the dates September 13 and 27 for two webinars co-sponsored with the Conservation Biology Institute, and make a notation about the LF webinar with Utah State University Forestry Extension, part of their "Lunch 'n' Learn" series, on September 13 as well. And, just to keep things interesting, we've partnered with the Great Basin Fire Science Exchange (Joint Fire Science Program) for a primer on LF in the GB region on September 27th. (Sorry about the pile-up on the two dates, but it sometimes happens when working in collaboration with others.) Click here for info and registration for all four: September Webinar Schedule.

TNC-LANDFIRE Project Lead Jim Smith's four-part blog series takes up issues about spatial data quality and offers experience and advice. As he notes in the first installment, it's about more than catchy numbers. Or road maps. Or even wine vintages.

 

The newly revamped National Vegetation Classification has entered an implementation phase and has engaged with a number of federal agency mapping and inventory programs. LF is one of these programs that has been at the forefront of mapping, supporting, and participating in the evolution of this system. Read an interview with LF's USFS Technical Lead Don Long that was given to Forestry Source Magazine

Partner Spotlight
 Natural Resources Conservation Service
 
Photo: NRCS
 
A pilot project in Montana that began in 2009 has continued to grow through an ongoing collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Designed to evaluate the use of National Resources Inventory (NRI) rangeland data in LF mapping applications, the pilot program showed that NRI rangeland data fills a critical gap in grass and rangeland types where there was a lack of data within LF products. NRI data was converted into a common format for combining multiple data sources into a single set of related tables, known as the LANDFIRE Reference Database (LFRDB). The data-sharing agreement between the programs resulted in updating the LFRDB with NRI data from CONUS and Hawaii in February 2015. The LFRDB provides a database schema optimized for mapping and vegetation modeling and will be used for the upcoming LF Remap campaign. -- Julia Deis, TSSC LF Operations Lead
 

Rocky Mountain Research Station
 
LF data has been affording the research community a consistent vegetation and fuel database for the entire United States for over ten years. Our data products, created at a 30-meter grid spatial resolution, are designed to facilitate national- and regional-level strategic planning and support of fire and fuel management planning activities. These same characteristics have provided the research community an ideal data set for a number of research applications within the US Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research StationRead about four of those applications. -- Don Long,  USFS LANDFIRE Technical Lead

 
USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis

LF is not just a data creation program; it is a prodigious consumer of data from other programs. One of our most important data partners is the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA). The extensive network of thousands and thousands of permanent plots that FIA established and has re-measured for decades truly forms the backbone of the LF Reference Data Base, spatial data production processes, and spatial data quality assessments. Without FIA, our efforts, and those of many other federal, state and private natural resource planning groups, would be nigh impossible. -- Jim Smith, TNC-LANDFIRE Project Lead
 

GAP Analysis Program

Two national land cover mapping efforts, the National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) and LF, share many common goals and require similar input data. In 2014 LF entered into an MOU with GAP to produce national-scale land cover, vegetation, fuel, and fire products because producing national scale maps would yield more robust and comprehensive products. Recent efforts include
Related: Henry Bastian and Frank Fay "Video Short" (2015): Collaborations, MOUs and Partnerships
-- Henry Bastian, DOI Business Lead

 
Your Partnership Spotlight Here

Are you collaborating with LANDFIRE or working on applications that should be featured in the Bulletin? Please let us know. This could be your spot in the November Year in Review issue!
APPLICATION: LANDFIRE and Sage Grouse
Photo: The Nature Conservancy

Sagebrush/Sage Grouse are inextricably linked on the landscape. Human pressures, exotic species, and modified fire regimes have created serious threats to these ecosystems in the Intermountain West. LANDFIRE has played an important role in the analysis of these ecosystems, such as the Bureau of Land Management’s Central Basin and Range Rapid Ecological Assessment. Other examples include studies on the Russell National Wildlife Refuge and the Powder River Basin, and assessing the impacts of cultivation on conservation easements. Rich, comprehensive, consistent data is critical to understanding wide-ranging such as sagebrush and sage grouse. -- Jim Smith, TNC-LANDFIRE Project Lead

Related macro review opportunities:
Intermountain Basin Big Sagebrush Shrubland
Intermountain Basin Big Sagebrush Steppe
 
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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.
LANDFIRE Bulletin l Jeannie Patton l The Nature Conservancy l 2108 55th Ave #220 l Boulder, CO 80303
LANDFIRE@tnc.org

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