Enhancing the access and use of forest resources data in Minnesota.
Explanations of Project:
Detailed descrition of project - below - 6/99
Integration of Forest Inventory GIS Data in Minnesota - paper - 6/00
Graphic of GIS data, showing deciduous and coniferous forest in northern MN on public forest managed land - (GIF image) - 10/00
Detailed Description of Forest Inventory Integration Project
1. What is it and why was it created?
The Minnesota Interagency Information Cooperative (IIC) is a public agency set out to "enhance the use and access of forest resources data in Minnesota". One key source of forest information in Minnesota is on public lands. But due to different geographic information system (GIS) datasets in public agencies it is difficult to get information on all public lands dealing with forest resources. Thus, the IIC developed a common format that allows detailed (stand level) forest inventory data, from federal, state, and county public agencies, to be joined together.
This GIS dataset contains key information common to stand level forest
inventories (cover type, cover size class, stand area, stand age, year
of measurement, site index, site index species, administrator, reconnaissance
level, and stand identification number).
2. Who participated?
This GIS dataset was developed through the IIC by a technical committee consisting of forest inventory specialists, GIS specialists, and foresters from the U.S. Forest Service (FS), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Minnesota County Land Departments.
3. What are the uses?
Inventory data that has been converted to this common format can be used to develop composite cover type maps and datasets. This data will be a useful tool for addressing stand level forest management and planning questions for lands with intermingled ownerships on a regional or landscape basis. This common format data will complement data derived from other sources including federal forest inventory and analysis (FIA) data, and also remotely sensed data.
The stand data can be used to assist landscape level planning projects by providing current information on the conditions of the forest. Another application is correlating remotely sensed data with ground inventories. Other research projects this data might be useful for are forest age structure, old growth, and studies on particular cover type or tree species.
There are numerous potential uses for this data that are limited only
by one's imagination. For example, information on cover type, cover
size, cover area, and stand age can be applied to many recreation activities.
Cover type can be useful when looking for groups of trees known to turn
color in the fall. Cover type, area, and size can be used to locate
possible habitats of specific wildlife species. A person could use
this information for wildlife viewing, hunting, hiking, outdoor photography,
looking for certain seed trees, etc.
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
5. What data can be integrated?
In Minnesota most forest inventory (cooperative stand assessment) data can be converted to the common format. There are several public agencies that have stand based forest inventory data in Minnesota including:
United States Forest Service, Superior National Forest
United States Forest Service, Chippewa National Forest
Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
Aitkin County Land Department
Becker County Land Department
Carlton County Land Department
Cass County Land Department
Clearwater County Land Department
Cook County Land Department
Crow Wing County Land Department
Hubbard County Land Department
Itasca County Land Department
Koochiching County Land Department
Lake County Land Department
Pine County Land Department
St.Louis County Land Department
A majority of these agencies have their forest inventory data in a GIS
digital form that can be converted to the common format. Because
of Cook County's small land base (less than 500 acres) their data is not
in a digital form.
6. What is the current status
of the project?
As of summer 2001:
Metadata, table of attributes, and description of data created
Superior and Chippewa National Forests translated their data to the common format
DNR, Division of Forestry translated their data to the common format
Aitken, Becker, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St.Louis County Land Departments translated their data to the common format. Only 3 county land departments have not converted their data: Beltrami, Carlton, and Clearwater.
Common format data created into an Arc/Info Region Coverage (ccsa1rg3) for all counties in Minnesota. This coverage contains up to three "region subclasses": state(ccsacst), federal(ccsafs), and county(ccsaco)
Arcview shapefile (ccsa1py3) created for all counties in Minnesota.
Data available for download at the DNR's web site: deli.dnr.state.mn.us
7. What detailed information is available?
There are two documents that contain more detailed information on the IIC forest inventory common format. The first is the metadata file. This document describes the GIS data including data quality, spatial distribution, and contact information. The other document is a table that lists the attributes in the data set and the valid values for each attribute.
The common format was created from Arc/Info coverages. In order
to convert the different public agencies' data to the common format, arc
macro language (aml) programs were used. Some examples of the amls
that were used are: iic.aml, and convert_2_iic.aml.
8. Where can I get the data?
The data is available for download at the DNR Internet site: deli.dnr.state.mn.us.
Current information on this project will be updated here.
For More Information Contact:
Chad Skally firstname.lastname@example.org
500 Lafayette Road, Box 44 Phone: 651.296.0757
Saint Paul, MN 55155 Fax: 651.296.5954