Full text: Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring (Part 1)

management, planning, and monitoring. The 1RS includes development of procedures, 
specifications and standards, complementary to ongoing forest inventories, and within the 
overall framework of the National Integrated Information Management program. This is 
a combined effort of Timber Management (TM), Engineering, and Computer Sciences & 
Telecommunications (CS&T) groups within the Forest Service. CS&T has defined the 
National GIS Plan (Project 615) which is currently being implemented. Most data layers 
needed for resource management are already obtained from remote sensing (mostly 
aerial photography, some satellite imagery and thermal imagery, etc.) but there is a need 
to streamline methods so information can be easily obtained and transferred into GIS. 
Timber Management and other resource groups within the Forest Service will define 
requirements for resource layers from remote sensing data. The Nationwide Forestry 
Applications Program (NFAP) will manage the 1RS by providing technical expertise and 
remote sensing facilities in conjunction with GSC facilities. The facilities will serve 
Regions, Forests, and Stations for development and validation of procedures. Once the 
process of automating and integrating remote sensing into GIS is operational, it will be 
duplicated and transferred to various levels of the Forest Service, depending on their 
The IRS grew from a recommendation of a working group session at the Second Biennial 
Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Conference held April, 1988 in Slidell, 
Louisiana (Lund, 1988). The Directors of Timber Management and Engineering 
supported the presentation of the initiative to the Forest Service Directors in January of 
1989. A steering team was formed in the spring of 1989 as recommended by the Forest 
Service Directors to coordinate the definition and implementation of the IRS. The IRS 
steering committee chaired by Timber Management drafted an initiative statement which 
was subsequently approved and funded by the Forest Service Deputy Chief (October, 
1989). NFAP was assigned technical and administrative leadership. 
Even though the Forest Service has been mapping, managing and monitoring the nation’s 
forest resources since the beginning of this century, the evolving nature of remote sensing 
and geographic information system technologies have proven to be invaluable spatial 
information tools. In short, the Integrating Remote Sensing initiative will: 
develop a set of standards and procedures for creating the 
’vegetation’ component for use in geographic information 

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