Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R02-38

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Author(s): Affleck, Peter (Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association)
Subject: Forestry
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


The ATLAS / SIMFOR Project started in 1996. The 2002/2003 fiscal year is the last of its seven years. The project was born in response to the need for operational staff to deliver forest management plans that met complex spatial- and temporal-type forest management rules. The heart of the plan was to build data sets that were suitable for spatial analysis for the entire Nelson Forest Region. It was a "build it and they will use it" idea. Over time that simple objective evolved to developing procedures for building the spatial databases, and for using the software and databases to support land use planning and research. This is reflected, for example, in the adoption of computer-generated block maps over hand-drawn maps.
Case studies were used to test modeling procedures. Management problems were chosen that, ideally, met both planning and research needs. Most of our modeling has been done at the tactical planning level on areas of 50 to 150 thousand hectares. This size of problem is a good match with the detail in the software. However, larger datasets (i.e. smaller scale, strategic-level) have also been modeled.
Many of the case studies have utilized a "post processing" concept. This matches our thoughts that "ATLAS and SIMFOR are two of the tools in the analyst's toolkit." In our project, this means that SIMFOR, a habitat supply model, is one of several potential post-processing modules we might use, rather than the only model we would consider.
The results from ATLAS / SIMFOR Project case studies have influenced changes to forest management practices in the Nelson Forest Region. Extension articles are available on the ATLAS / SIMFOR web site along with the (free) software, software manuals and sample databases.

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Updated August 26, 2005 

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