Forest Vegetation Simulations for Fire Prevention, Healthy Forest and Saving Lives. Grid Response Research for those things, which affect the flow of life on the Surface of the Planet. Let's discuss the thinning of the forest based on Grid Modeling and ESRI Software ARC Info modeling. We need to look at several layers of overlapping data to take into account many things such as Biomass Thinning and pre-commercial thinning of trucks less than 12 inches.
This modeling takes into account carnivore and plant eating animals, endangered species and other things. It is good because you can take into consideration many layers of data with the ARC INFO Gird Software based on the data of tree height, elevation, GIS coordinates, GPS locations and possible fire hot spots in canyons. As well as potential slide areas and areas of secluded structures or private lands which could be affected and pose potential loss of life. Or areas of extreme fire hazard based on wind speeds in the atmosphere, winds aloft known data and lightening strike data.
Areas of bark beetle and other problems could be thinned as those inferior trees could not sustain. Also areas of prescribed burning which dies kill the underbrush fuel and smaller trees of 4-6 inches in diameter or less, but with flame heights controlled in certain seasons which are not dangerous to do controlled prescribed burns you could keep the forest healthy after removing the above mentioned and harvesting the surplus. Here is the explanation of how to deal with the complexities in computer modeling and simulation of forest policy.
(This Study is old and much of the new studies and software is event better). Such under burning helps the forest and prevents the big burns as we saw recently in California. During years of severe drought certain species of trees in our forest population, take a tremendous hit, in some cases up to 60% of a certain species will be eaten alive by insects. There is no sense in wasting that level of forest destruction.
What we find is that after the bugs come the fires of the dried and dead timber, which burn so hot they kill even the old growth of 60-inch trunks and up burning hotter and nothing survives. Many of these fires are man made. Then next comes the floods and land slides preventing fast growth of new seedlings. Floods are serious and I can certainly remember doing my share of sand bagging the following years after large California Wildfires. Please read the following so you can understand the subject matter before continuing; Regarding the effect of water and droughts on the forest, you must understand the severity of the issues of the issues. We still have severe droughts in Montana, WY, ID, NM and it will be a few more good solid rain years before AZ and CA are out of the woods. Meanwhile due to changes in the Jet Stream flows OR and WA have both been added to the list of drought areas, these states are normally flush with water.
When we allow growth and put out the small natural fires without taking out the dead wood, under growth we make the eventual fires huge with 120 plus tons of fuel sitting ion each acre. I cannot tell you how to get out that much underbrush without putting in a few roads. But I can tell you how to figure out what growth to take and what growth to leave so that you do not have the entire forest burn down. This can be calculated using computer modeling and Lighter than air UAVs can mark the trees to be removed and the most problematic areas for fires, insects, pathogens, flooding, etc.
Healthy forests are pretty important on our Planet, it is obvious that we need them. And there is no reason to let the entire forest go up in smoke just because in our infinite wisdom we have affected the natural flow of things after millions of years of evolution. The latest fire simulations are much better today than in previous years due to the large numbers of people working on this. Here is a paper being prepared which outlines all the variables, which are encountered and can taken into consideration through such modeling.
When I first got involved with ESRI ARC Info and Arc Data in 1993 things were taking a new turn. Back then the software was more limited than today as we have better database capabilities.
If we take what we learn in wars and fighting the enemies and use such scenarios to fight unhealthy forest areas, insects, drought and water issues, we can prevent the catastrophic fires like we saw recently. Even though we know they have been part of the forest since before mankind has occupied the continent. It is important with these new innovations that we apply high tech tools to help us manage fire risks and good forestry policies.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs