Trends Summer 2018 - Page 3

Vegetative analysis of center section of project study area in the area growing back? The answers would come with time. However, after several years, the land became so overcome with brush, densely packed trees, thorns, and downed wood that traditional inventory of the site became a herculean task. That’s when MTE turned to Ayres Associates – a firm they’d successfully collaborated with on several past aerial imagery projects – to explore whether remote sensing technology might be a more efficient and affordable way to analyze the forest’s regeneration and distinguish the boundaries of the establishing forest stands, or groupings of tree types. “We did some ground surveys, and we’ve been monitoring for the last 10 years on it. The issue that we were faced with was that there was such thick regrowth that you couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of you. Trying to delineate homogenous stands within that matrix was very challenging,” said Crocker, referring to how certain types of vegetation and tree species tend to grow in clusters. “We talked to Adam (Derringer) and decided that using some high spatial resolution and high spectral resolution imagery would be a solution for delineating those.” Remote sensing involves accessing and acquiring data without physically touching it – in this case, from sensors collecting visible and near-infrared wavelength data from an airplane. When planned correctly, this data can be processed using advanced software to identify objects of interest. “We looked at this site and its heterogenous vegetation cover and knew that if we were to collect data at just the right time in the fall, we could More on MTE M enominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE) is a tribal organization responsible for forest operations on the large land base held in trust by the federal government for the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. The Menominee Indians – the oldest residents of Wisconsin – inhabited the area more than 10,000 years ago. About 95 percent of the land is forested, and approximately 90% of that acreage is under what’s called sustained yield management. This means that they follow specific management procedures to ensure that what’s harvested and sold is replaced before more harvesting takes place. The tribally-owned operation has been actively managing the Menominee Forest since 1890 and is regarded as an industry leader in sustainable forestry. Fourteen of the 16 forest types that exist in the Lake States are represented on the acreage the enterprise so meticulously manages, including northern hardwoods, aspen, oaks, swamp conifers, and pine stands. │3