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NEPA Analysis using INFORMS. INFORMS INtegrated FORest Management System Resource Management Tools and Geospatial Conference 2005. Overview. Use MSN to create a current wall to wall vegetation layer utilizing NRIS FSVeg, DEM and Landsat data.

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NEPA Analysis using INFORMS

INFORMS

INtegrated FORest Management System

Resource Management Tools and Geospatial Conference 2005


Overview l.jpg
Overview

  • Use MSN to create a current wall to wall vegetation layer utilizing NRIS FSVeg, DEM and Landsat data.

  • Utilize the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) to grow stand data to current and future year conditions.

  • Create alternatives and model vegetation treatments (i.e. thinning) for NEPA analysis and impacts evaluation.


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Definitions

NRIS INFORMS

A project-level landscape analysis framework.

NRIS FSVeg

Forest Service Field-Sampled Vegetation database.

Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS)

An individual-tree, distance-independent growth and yield model.

Most Similar Neighbor (MSN)

A powerful application used to impute available ground-based inventory data to non-inventoried units.

Stand Visualization System (SVS)

Visualize time-step data on a stand by stand basis.

Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE)

A fire spread simulator.


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Data Requirements

  • FSVeg stand exam data

  • Local stand coverage (which relates to the data in the FSVeg database)

  • FVS Fire and Fuels Extension Variant File

  • Most Similar Neighbor analysis (optional)

    • Required for FARSITE analysis.

    • There are additional data requirements for Most Similar Neighbor analysis.


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Process Overview

  • Running MSN and Creating the No Action Alternative

  • Alternative Building

  • Evaluating Alternative Impacts

  • INFORMS Prescription Definition

  • Summary


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1. MSN and Creating

the No Action Alternative


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What is MSN?

  • The Most Similar Neighbor (MSN) application is a powerful tool used to impute available ground-based inventory data to non-inventoried units.

  • The MSN method uses available data from the ground-based sample units and globally available data measured on all sample units to guide the imputation.

  • Examples of global information known about all sample units include topographic data and satellite imagery.

  • Landscape of vegetation data is available for analysis based on imputations from the MSN process.


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MSN Forest Vegetation Quality

Gray = Reference (sampled) stands

Green = OK Quality (Imputed)

Red = Poor Quality (Imputed)

Yellow = Non-Veg (rocks, lake, etc.)

Brown = Non-Forest (grass, shrubs, etc.)

A report is also created summarizing the key elements of the MSN run.


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Base FVS Vegetation Layer

The results from FVS and MSN are used to generate current and future vegetation layers for each decade in the simulation. Each layer contains information such as basal area, stand height, qmd, canopy cover and more.


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Vegetation Layer

The results from FVS and MSN are used to generate current and future vegetation layers for each decade in the simulation.

Fuel Model – Same Year

With MSN

Without MSN


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Creating No Action Alternatives

Basal Area

No Action Plus Disturbance

No Action





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Alternative Building in INFORMS

  • Vegetative future conditions are created by defining alternatives and applying vegetative treatment prescriptions.

  • There are three methods for applying prescriptions to a stand or a portion of a stand. A tool is available to split a stand.

  • If MSN analysis is used, prescriptions can be applied to imputed stands (stands which do not have a stand exam in FSVeg).

  • Treatments are applied through FVS keyword files. This changes future condition vegetative values.


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Prescription Assignment:Individual Stands


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Prescription Assignment:GIS overlay

  • Create a GIS Area Prescription Set layer (essentially a layer with codes inferring where a prescription should be assigned)

  • Create a GIS Area Prescription Set Definition

  • Overlay the prescription set layer with the stands coverage


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Prescription Assignment:GIS overlay – Set Layer

Prescriptions for each set polygon:

UNIT-A:

- PP_HIGH &- PILE_BURN

UNIT-B:

- THRESHOLD

UNIT-C:

- MC_HIGH


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Prescription Assignment:GIS overlay – Set Creation





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Evaluating Impacts for Alternatives

  • The results of the prescription treatments from FVS are used to generate current and future vegetation data for each decade in the simulation.

  • The ‘treated’ alternative layers contain treated and untreated stands for the complete analysis area.

  • This allows for comparison of effects between the no action and treatment alternatives at different time steps.


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Examples – Alternative Evaluation

  • Current year comparison:

    • Burn Model

    • FARSITE

    • Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC)

    • Vegetation Structural Stage (VSS) (Region Specific)

  • Future year comparison:

    • Burn Model

    • Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC)


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Basal Area Before and After Treatment – Same Year

Burn Simulation Treatment

No Treatment



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No Action Alternative A

  • No Action – 457ha burned

After Treatment – 391ha burned

FARSITE Before and After Treatment – Same Year


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Burn Model

No Action

Treatment

2045

2005



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INFORMS Prescriptions

  • Prescriptions, as used in INFORMS, are a collection of FVS keyword files which can be assigned to stands.

  • INFORMS uses FVS to modify the vegetative landscape to represent alternative future conditions.

  • Sources of FVS keyword files:

    • Many regions are creating standard keyword files

    • Forest Health is creating keyword files for modeling pest impacts

    • Local FVS users can create their own keyword files



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Fuels Analysis Process

FSVeg Data

Sampled Vegetation and Fuels Data

FVS/FFE

Most Similar Neighbor (MSN)

DEM & Landsat

Wall-to-Wall Current Vegetation and Fuels Data

Legend:

Yellow = Inputs

Blue = Outputs

Green = Models

Treatment Alternative

FVS/FFE

Wall-to-Wall Future Years Vegetation and Fuels Data (No Action and Alternative)

Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE)

Stand Visualization System (SVS)


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Summary

  • INFORMS and MSN currently provide a methodology for vegetative treatments and fuels analysis.

  • INFORMS provides the ability to produce multiple alternatives for various treatment scenarios.

  • MSN provides the ability to do landscape-level fuels analysis (i.e. fire spread).

  • MSN accuracy assessments are currently being developed (2005) to provide ID teams with more defensible results.


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Cooperators

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station (Nick Crookston & Al Stage)

  • Forest Pest Management (Carol Randall & Jim Stone)

  • Region 3 Fire & Fuels (David Martinez)

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Texas A&M (USDA Risk Management Agency)

  • Mescalero Apache Reservation


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For More Information

  • Eric Twombly – Project Leader

  • Lynne Bridgford – GIS Developer

  • Jonathan Marston – Oracle Developer

Web: fsweb.nris.fs.fed.us/products/INFORMS