Chapter 7 Using tree canopy cover data to help estimate acres of damageThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Among other responsibilities, the Forest Health Assessment and Applied Sciences Team (FHAAST) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Health Protection (FHP) program has spent the past several years developing the Digital Mobile Sketch Mapper (DMSM) for its aerial survey program. This is intended to replace the Digital Aerial Sketch Mapper (DASM) as the primary way that aerial survey data are collected, stored, accessed, and processed. The Insect and Disease Survey (IDS) program is currently transitioning from DASM to DMSM. The IDS database (DB) contains mostly DASM data, but some regions started using DMSM in 2015. By 2018, all regions were using DMSM, and DASM will soon be completely phased out. With DMSM comes a fully synchronized IDS DB, which will continue to represent the most updated, comprehensive, and authoritative dataset of forest health conditions in the United States. This dataset is essential for providing multiscale spatiotemporal summaries of forest pest outbreaks and informing the estimated impacts on forest resources. Insect and Disease Survey data have a wide variety of Forest Service users, including FHAAST and regional and forest entomologists, as well as academic researchers and State, industrial, and private landowners outside of the Forest Service. The end goals of each user likely vary, so it is important to make data accessible and meaningful for use by all parties as much as possible. While it is not the goal of FHAAST to conduct research, by encouraging research use of IDS we beneft by possibly adopting what the research community learns. This chapter helps address the goal of FHAAST’s Quantitative Analysis program to support the development of DMSM and help users better interpret and use the new IDS data that are being collected with DMSM.