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Title
Proceedings of Symposium on Remote Sensing and Photo Interpretation

5
MONTANA PUBLIC LAND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS OF REMOTE SENSING
Merle P. Meyer
University of Minnesota, USA
Harry R. Cosgriffe
USDI - Bureau of Land Management, USA
Fred T. Batson
USDI - Bureau of Land Management, USA
Bruce H. Gerbig
University of Minnesota, USA
James A. Brass
University of Minnesota, USA
ABSTRACT
To meet the increasing demands for information on the public land re
sources in the face of inadequate budgets and personnel, remote sensing was
selected by the USDI - Bureau of Land Management's Montana State Office to
increase the capabilities of existing professional personnel. A 5 - year
series of field tests and training, conducted in cooperation with the Minne
sota College of Forestry, has resulted in: (a) a "low-stage" inexpensive
35mm aerial photography system now in use for monitoring range trend, wild
life habitat, water quality, erosion, structures, timber sales, archeological
sites, etc.; (b) a "middle-stage" system of 1:40,000 - 1:50,000 scale color
infrared 23 x 23cm photography for use as a data base for large area (circa
50,000 to 250,000 hectares) resource surveys; and (c) a "high-stage" system
of color infrared small scale 1:80,000 to 1:100,000 "quad-centered" photo
graphy applied to very large areas (circa 250,000+ hectares) for use as an
extensive resource survey data base. The applicability of ERTS data is also
under study.
INTRODUCTION
Despite the fact that, during the past 5 years, public land resource man
agers have faced accelerating demands for more and better survey data relating
to both renewable (e.g., livestock forage, wildlife habitat) and non-renewab1e
(i.e., coal) resources, personnel staffing and operational funding levels have
remained more or less static or even decreased. Although by no means a total
or perfect solution, one obvious approach to a partial alleviation of the prob
lem was (is) to raise the capabilities and efficiency of the professional per
sonnel al ready in the field. Consequently, and having selected remote sensing
as one logical management technique to achieve this end, the Montana State
Office of the Bureau of Land Management in 1970 entered into a cooperative
agreement with the University of Minnesota College of Forestry for the purpose