Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y073021

    Expert System for making site preparation and vegetation management decisions in southern interior BC
 
Project lead: Sachs, Donald
Imprint: [Vancouver, B.C.] : [University of British Columbia], 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Expert Systems (Computer Science), Forest Management, Computer Programs, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
Description:
This proposal is being submitted under TPAC section 3.3: Estimating or quantifying the impacts of management decisions on timber and non-timber outputs evaluated at multiple scales (stand, landscape and forest). The Expert System for Site Preparation and Vegetation Management in Southern Interior B.C. (ES) is an interactive, publicly available web-based tool to assist practitioners to select appropriate site preparation and brushing treatments as they develop site prescriptions. The ES considers information on a site series-specific basis and predicts vegetation responses to common site preparation and brushing treatments, thereby contributing to the practice of ecologically-sound forestry in B.C. The ES is a unique decision-making tool because it uses expert knowledge to integrate information from a variety of sources, and considers a wide range of factors that affect conifer and vegetation response to treatment. The application of appropriate treatments (and the avoidance of unnecessary treatments) contributes to the achievement of full crop tree growth potential, reduces costs, and reduces the likelihood of other resource values being negatively affected. The ES provides detailed information about expected responses to treatment to assist practitioners in justifying their prescriptions. The ES is also an extension tool and is designed to be easily updated to include the most recent research results. It is available as a web-based application to all users, including policy makers, forest practitioners, and non-government interests. The original ES contained information for the old Kamloops and Nelson Forest Regions and is currently being updated to include the old Cariboo Region ecosystems in this year’s FII funded project (Y051021). The system is currently in use and available online (http://www.myacquire.com/spvegman/expertsystem/) and an updated version containing the entire Southern Interior Forest Region (SIFR) will be available by March 31, 2005. This continuing proposal seeks funding for two items, maintenance of the Expert System and holding a training workshop in the Cariboo (probably in Williams Lake). The maintenance section of the proposal covers the annual cost of hosting the system on the server at Acquired Intelligence, Inc. in Victoria, (approximately $700), which includes a very high level of security and technical support. Hosting the ES on their Myacquire.com site allows Dr. Sachs to maintain and update the ES program at any hour of the day from any machine anywhere in the world using a standard web browser. The maintenance portion of this proposal contains approximately $9,000 in salary that covers the cost of maintenance of the system by core team members. Maintenance includes responding to any suggestions or errors found by users who report them via the email link in the ES. Simple suggestions from users for changes to the user-interface have already been implemented this year and several small errors found by users have been corrected. We view this as a continuing process as public use of the ES by the forestry community increases. Major additions to the ES are funded by separate proposals such as the LOI 'Expansion of the Expert System for making site preparation and vegetation management decisions in southern interior B.C. to include insect pest information and plantation growth results from the NIVMA program' submitted in this year. The workshop portion of this continuing proposal covers the salary, advertising, and travel expenses associated with holding a training workshop in the Cariboo. During the past year we have held workshops in 6 locations in the SIFR covering the old Kamloops and Nelson Regions. The addition of ecosystems in the old Cariboo Forest Region is proceeding under this year’s FII funding (Y051021), and will be completed by March 31, 2005. We propose to hold a workshop in the Cariboo in the spring of 2005 so that the ES will have been demonstrated in all portions of the SIFR.
Related projects:  FSP_Y051021FSP_Y062021
Contact: Sachs, Donald, (250) 352-0601, donsachs@telus.net

    Deliverables:

Executive Summary (94Kb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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