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Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

Frank Hegyi
Ferihill Technologies Ltd.
Victoria, British Columbia
Public demand for reliable information about our natural resources will result in major changes in current
forest inventory approaches. Systems which were designed to provide timber volume estimates for specific
management units, at a given statistical confidence level, no longer meet the requirements of modern resource
management, carried out under the scrutiny of an environmentally conscious and responsible public.
The new requirements of inventory systems are to provide descriptive statistics which are reliable in terms of
individual stands or homogenous strata. Furthermore, these descriptive statistics must relate not only to timber,
but to all the resources which the public insist be considered in land use allocation and multi resource
In this paper the author describes the appropriate technology to deliver these multi resource and site specific
information needs. In particular, the sampling system recommended is Multi Phase Sampling with Partial
Replacement, using a combination of ground plots and airborne scanner data at high spatial resolution (e.g.
0.5 m pixels) for "photo sampling", and medium spatial resolution (5.0 m - 7.5 m pixels) for stratification.
When fully calibrated, this system will have the potential to replace both large and medium scale analog aerial
photographs. Geographic Information Systems will be the main data manager, manipulating information in
3D. Satellite Image Analysis Systems, integrated with GIS, will provide monitoring capabilities through space
borne imagery. Video imaging technology can also significantly enhance species identification and classification,
as well as being used in combination with GIS to illustrate "real life" conditions.
The new inventory system presented in this paper is based on a combination of a sampling system already well
established by various agencies, as well as the application of new technology. Some of these new techniques
are already operational, while other components are ready to move out of their current R & D phase.
Multi resource inventories in Canada are based on a wide range of methods and techniques. Traditional field
sampling with medium-scale aerial photography is still a widely practised approach. This technology was
developed with a strong focus on timber cruising. However, as public demand for reliable information about
both timber and non-timber resources becomes a major concern, traditional inventory techniques may have
serious constraints in delivering the required information.
The public in general, as well as special interest groups with major concerns for the environment, are
presenting significant challenges to existing resource inventory practices. They require that descriptive statistics
be reliable in terms of individual stands or homogeneous strata, and that they cover not only timber but all the
resources which the public insist be considered in land use allocation and multi resource management.