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Monitoring California's hardwood rangelands using remotely sensed dataAuthor(s): Chris S. Fischer; Lisa M. Levien
Source: In: Standiford, Richard B., et al, tech. editor. Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Oak Woodlands: Oaks in California's Challenging Landscape. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 603-615
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (670 KB)
DescriptionAs human and natural forces continue to alter the hardwood landscape, resource agencies, county planners and local interest groups find it increasingly important to monitor and assess these alterations. The California Land Cover Mapping and Monitoring Program (LCMMP), a cooperative program between the USDA Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is addressing statewide long-term monitoring strategies using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery. The LCMMP creates seamless vegetation and monitoring data across California's landscape for regional assessment across all ownerships and vegetation types. This paper focuses on the hardwood rangeland region from Shasta County in the north to Kern County in the south, extending from 300 to 5,000 feet in elevation. Results indicate that most of the hardwoods did not undergo change between 1991 and 1996. However, large change did occur in concentrated areas from wildfire, harvest and development. Regeneration of hardwoods was also detected. The LCMMP directly addresses CDF's need for a long-term monitoring strategy to inform discussion of issues centered on California's hardwood rangelands. CDF now has the ability to identify trends in hardwood rangeland structure, health, resource use and other factors that affect long-term viability across large regions. The LCMMP provides critical information on the impacts management decisions and natural forces have on the environment. This information includes the actual location and extent of change, three levels of vegetation cover increase and decrease and the cause of change. Knowing the location and extent of vegetation change provides a picture of the distribution and concentration of change areas. Levels of change give an indication of vegetation removal, vigor or health. Understanding what is causing these changes creates an awareness of the impacts change agents have on the landscape. This information is useful to assess the effectiveness of existing policies, programs, management activities and regulations, and to develop alternatives as needed (e.g., county voluntary guidelines for oak woodland management).
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CitationFischer, Chris S.; Levien, Lisa M. 2002. Monitoring California''s hardwood rangelands using remotely sensed data. In: Standiford, Richard B., et al, tech. editor. Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Oak Woodlands: Oaks in California''s Challenging Landscape. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 603-615
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