Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y071072

    Optimal Sampling Strategy for monitoring of the Soils Value at the Cutblock level under FRPA
Project lead: Magai, Robert
Imprint: [BC] :, 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Soils, Analysis, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
The BC Ministry of Forest and Range (MOFR) has imposed limits on the percentage of area harvested with significant soil disturbance. Field surveys involve point sampling along parallel transects with grids oriented perpendicular to the disturbance (BC Ministry of Forests 2001). In addition, the MOFR has developed initial draft ground and air photo based methods to assess soil disturbance as part of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) Resource Evaluation Program or FREP ( Accelerated timber harvests resulting from the unprecedented MPB epidemic in BC is sometimes occurring on wet soils which may pose a threat to future soil productivity which ultimately may have long-term consequences for forest productivity. All of these areas could benefit from further refinement of monitoring techniques based on geostatics. New tools are now available that would facilitate the effective monitoring of resources such as soils. Geostatistical tools and methods have been applied to soil studies over distances of meters or tens of meters. Other studies have used kriging as an extrapolative tool over large areas and other studies still, have incorporated geostatistical methods to computer generated digital images. The scope of this research hopes to investigate these recent techniques with conventional soil monitoring techniques to effectively accomplish what no single method can accomplish alone. Using aerial photo techniques and image processing techniques developed under related work (using analysis software PCI and eCognition), this proposal will work with data from existing projects that identify and quantify adverse soil disturbance conditions. Classified photos will be supplied by MOFR projects related to Resource Stewardship Monitoring and harvesting of MPB-affected areas. The new geostatically valid techniques will be ground-truthed and optimum survey methods proposed that will statistically evaluate if soil disturbance limits are exceeded. Effective monitoring of forest practices relies on efficient use of manpower, technology and available resources. Sampling in any form is time consuming. Over-sampling is clearly wasteful, while under-sampling results in data that is too crude for the intended purpose. Hence, a means of determining the minimum sampling effort to collect enough data to characterize site conditions is therefore critical so that resources of manpower and budgets can be balanced.
Contact: Magai, Robert, (250) 365-1349,

Updated August 16, 2010 

Search for other  FIA reports or other Ministry of Forests and Range publications.

Please direct questions or comments regarding publications to