Got Nature? Blog

Posted on February 14th, 2020 in How To, Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

Extension publication, No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory BirdsBird migration is one of the greatest phenomena of the natural world. Birds depend on suitable habitats to rest and refuel. In this free download publication titled No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory Birds, a Purdue researcher describes ways to manage your backyard to attract birds of all types, for your enjoyment and their survival. Including a list of common migratory birds in

Indiana, this publication also provides a list of other suggested resources to learn more about birds and how to identify them.

Resources:
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Learn how forests are used by birds new videos, Got Nature? Blog
Managing Woodlands for Birds, The Education Store
Climate Change + Birds, Purdue Climate Change Research Center

Jessica Outcalt, Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


Posted on February 13th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Wildlife | No Comments »

Just because the winter days are cold and dreary doesn’t mean the work to improve wildlife habitat on your property has to stop. In fact, now is a perfect time for a wide range of habitat projects. One such project is frost seeding native grasses and forbs. Here’s why you should brave the cold and consider sowing your seeds this winter.

Picture3

Picture 3. Smaller fields can be established with just a hand seed spreader (left), whereas an ATV or tractor-mounted spreader is better for larger fields (right).

Picture2

Picture 2. When broadcasting native seed, it should be mixed with a carrier (pelletized lime here) to help the seed flow through the spreader.

Picture1

Picture 1. After frost seeding, the native grass and forb seed is visible on the ground, but the freezing and thawing of the soil will ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

Its natural
If you think about how a native prairie works, many of the seeds ripen in the late summer and early fall and drop to the ground throughout the fall and winter. So, sowing seeds from January through March or frost seeding is mimicking what would have occurred naturally. By doing such, you are taking advantage of the freezing and thawing cycles of the soil. The helps with a couple things.

First, many native plant seeds – forbs (wildflowers) especially – need that natural freezing and thawing cycles to break their dormancy. Thus, frost seeding can help increase the germination of many of these species. Second, the freezing and thawing of the soil helps to work the seed into the soil, which can improve seed-to-soil contact, an important factor in planting success (picture 1).

Less time to waste
Dormant seeding or seeding once the soil dips below a certain temperature (as early as November) is another viable option to establish a native grass and forb stand. But with frost seeding, the seed remains on the soil for less time before germination. Which may reduce the seeds’ exposure to soil pathogens, rodents, birds, or other critters that may eat the seed or reduce germination.

Minimalist-style
Frost seeding native grasses and forbs can be done will minimal equipment. All you need to frost seed is a hand or mechanical seed spreader, the seed, and a carrier (picture 2). Using a hand seed spreader works great for small fields, but you may consider using an ATV or tractor-mounted mechanical spreader for larger fields (picture 3).

Another option is to use a no-till seed drill. Of course, this will require more specialized equipment, but many Soil and Water Conservation Districts or Pheasants and Quail Forever Chapters have no-till drills that you can borrow or rent to help complete your project.

When it comes to establishing native grasses and forbs, there is more than one way to plant a field. But, frost seeding might be the option that is best suited for you and your site.

For a How-To on frost seeding, check out our Frost Seeding Video below:

Resources
Frost Seeding to Establish Wildlife Food Plots & Native Grass and Forb Plantings, video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Calibrating a No-Till Drill for Conservation Plantings and Wildlife Food Plots, video, The Education Store
Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: a land manager’s guide(pdf), The Education Store
Purdue Extension Pond and Wildlife Management Website, Purdue Extension

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resource, Purdue University


Ag BMPAgricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are intended to protect or improve water quality without significantly impacting production.  This resource titled Tipping Point Planner Stormwater Definitions, Agricultural Best Management Practices, helps communities plan for a sustainable future. Authored by Ben Wegleitner, social science outreach associate, Daniel Walker, community planning extension specialist, Kara A Salazar, assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities, and Lydia Utley, data analyst, you will find references and get an overview of how the Tipping Point Planner program guides you through best management practices.

In this Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model and the Tipping Point Planner program you will find the following BMPs: no-till practices, buffer strips, grassed waterway, nutrient management, grade stabilization structure and blind inlet.

With help from trained facilitators, the Tipping Point Planner program enables professional and citizen participation in the land use planning and management process.

Resources
Tipping Point Planner, Sustainable communities, Purdue University
Urban Best Management & Low Impact Development Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Bioindicators of Water Quality: Quick Reference Guide, The Education Store
Improving Water Quality by Protecting Sinkholes on Your Property, video, The Education Store
Improving Water Quality At Your Livestock Operation, video, The Education Store
Improving Water Quality Around Your Farm, video, The Education Store
Healthy Water, Happy Home – Lesson Plan, The Education Store

Kara A Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Urban BMPUrban best management practices (BMPs) and low-impact development practices are forms of green infrastructure designed to protect water quality and quantity by reducing stormwater runoff or by storing and treating stormwater before it reaches surface waters. Low-impact development practices are intended to mimic natural infiltration processes.

This publication titled Tipping Point Planner Stormwater Definitions: Urban Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Low Impact Development Practices is written by Ben Wegleitner, social science outreach associate, Daniel Walker, community planning extension specialist, Kara A Salazar, assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities, and Lydia Utley, data analyst. It discusses the benefits of several urban best management practices for protecting or improving water quality. These BMPs include: permeable pavement, rain barrels, bioretention system, grass strip (or buffer strip), grassed swale, retention ponds, wetland basin and detention basin. The following practices are used in the Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model and the Tipping Point Planner. Through Tipping Point Planner, Great Lakes communities can plan sustainable futures by directly linking data to their local decision-making processes.

Resources
Tipping Point Planner Stormwater Definitions: Agricultural Best Management Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Improving Water Quality by Protecting Sinkholes on Your Property, video, The Education Store
Improving Water Quality At Your Livestock Operation, video, The Education Store
Improving Water Quality Around Your Farm, video, The Education Store
Healthy Water, Happy Home – Lesson Plan, The Education Store

Kara A Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on January 29th, 2020 in Alert, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

coyotesJanuary IDNR Wildlife Bulletin Newsletter: It’s that time of year again – coyotes are on the move, and Indiana residents might see them more, but this should not be a cause for alarm.

Coyotes are common everywhere in the state, even in urban areas. Coyotes become more active during winter, and the bare vegetation this time of year increases the chance of catching a glimpse. Young coyotes leave their parents to find a new home, making them more likely to be seen during winter. And in January, coyotes will be looking to breed, making them even more active. Seeing more coyotes does not mean they are increasing in number.

Where people are, coyotes follow. Coyotes like to eat animals and plants that thrive around yards and homes, including rabbits, mice, fruit and squirrels. They thrive around people because of the abundant food that comes with human development.

Coyotes are a common member of Indiana’s urban wildlife community, as are raccoons, red foxes, and opossums. Coyotes are also an important member of Indiana’s wildlife community, helping control rodent populations and cleaning up carrion.

Coyotes typically weigh between 20-30 pounds and are similar in height to a German Shepherd. Winter fur, which is thicker, makes coyotes appear bigger than they actually are, potentially causing concern.

To reduce the possibility of pets having a negative interaction with coyotes or any other wildlife, keep pets leashed, in a kennel with a secure top, or indoors.

Problems between coyotes and people are uncommon. Follow these tips for making your property less attractive to coyotes:

  • Clean up fallen fruit from trees or gardens.
  • Keep garbage secure.
  • Make sure pet food and treats are not left outside.
  • If you see a coyote around your yard, take down birdfeeders; coyotes could be attracted to the rodents eating the seeds.
  • Never intentionally feed a coyote, which could result in its losing its fear of people.

Making a coyote feel unwelcome around people can help maintain its natural fear of humans, but never corner or chase a coyote – you should always allow it to have a clear escape path to get away from you.

If you see a coyote and want it to go away, try to make it uncomfortable:

  • Yell.
  • Wave your arms.
  • Spray it with a hose.
  • Throw tennis balls or small stones at it, but don’t throw anything that could be food, like apples.
  • Carry a jar of coins to shake or a small air horn to make noise.

Learn more about coyotes at Dealing with Nuisance Coyotes
Full Article >>>

Resources
Coyotes (PDF), Wildlife Conflicts, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
Urban Coyote Research Center, Urban Coyote Ecology & Managenet, Cook County, Illinois
Dealing with Nuisance Coyotes, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)-Fish and Wildlife
Coyotes a Constant Problem in Indy Suburbs, IndyStar

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on January 21st, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

ForestThis Private Woodland Owner workshop is a short course program about personal techniques for managing your woodland. The workshop will run eight (8) consecutive weeks on Tuesday evenings. Class size is limited to 40 registrants on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Dates: Tuesdays, February 4 to March 24, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Southeast Purdue Ag Center 4425 E 350 N, Butlerville, IN 47223
Registration: for online registration view: http://www.cvent.com/d/yhq9l8. For mailing registration view: Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner.
Contact David Osborne at (812) 689-6511 or by email at osbornda@purdue.edu.

Program Coordinators:
David Osborne grew up in Jackson County Indiana, where he spent as much time as possible fishing and hunting the white river bottoms with his Dad. David received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Forest Management and a Master’s degree in Wildlife Science from Purdue University. He currently serves as County Extension Director in Ripley County. Dave has used his wildlife and forestry background and love of game cooking to develop a series of award winning wild game and fish preparation workshops that have been presented across the state for many years.
Don Carlson graduated from Purdue University in 1995 with a Forestry degree. The early years of his career were spent as an Indiana District Forester helping forest land owners better manage their woodland resources. In April of 2000, Don made a career change to begin managing Purdue University woodlands He now is involved with managing 4000+ acres on 20 properties across Indiana. His extension efforts focus on workshops and training sessions related to chain saw safety and tree felling, invasive plant control, forest best management practices, and wildlife conservation.

Resources
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Publication
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

Dave Osborne, County Extension Director
Purdue Extension


Posted on December 9th, 2019 in Christmas Trees, Forestry, How To | No Comments »

Tree ComparisonSo you are off to select a real Christmas tree this year? The tree characteristics that influence a family’s decision on what species to select can vary greatly. First, many families just want the experience of cutting their own tree. In this case, any appropriately priced and correct sized tree will do. Other consumers may be more demanding in terms of different tree characteristics. These include fragrance of the tree, rather the tree is cone or more globose shaped, needle length, and of course expected needle retention. Color is also to be considered, as well as branch stiffness and cost. These factors all come into play rather the purchaser is aware of them or not. They all interact in one way or another to define the perfect Christmas tree and to create great Christmas memories.

There are about 200 real Christmas Tree Farms producing trees on over 2,500 acres in Indiana. Each year about 90,000 Christmas trees are harvested in Indiana and over a billion dollars in sales are made throughout the U.S. Based on number of trees harvested, Indiana ranks seventh among all states. Most of the farms are choose and cut operations but some wholesale farms, particularly in Northern Indiana, also exist. Real Christmas trees are also sold at retail outlets.
Scotch pine, consisting of several varieties, remains the most commonly grown Christmas tree in Indiana. However, as transportation and communications improved the desire for other species such as the firs and spruces increased. Because climate and soil conditions vary substantially from one end of Indiana to the other, not all species will be found in one area and probably not all on one farm. However, most Indiana farms will have three or four species available.
Scotch pine and white pine are usually the least expensive trees whereas the true fir, are more costly. Douglas fir (not a true fir) and spruce are usually intermediate in cost. The pines will grow on most soils in Indiana and do not require fertilization. Fraser-fir and Canaan fir will only grow on well to moderately well drained soils, require fertilization, and are in relatively short supply as choose and cut trees, especially in southern Indiana. Some farms do not have true firs available in the field. Douglas-fir and spruce trees are intermediate in the care they require while in the field and thus usually intermediate in price. However, growers may have a surplus of a certain species or size of trees and reduce the price to assure that the trees will be sold.

Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce

To view the table that presents the common characteristics which help to determine a consumer’s preference for a certain species, as well as read the full article, view the Selecting an Indiana-Grown Christmas Tree publication.  However, in the end, it comes down to a family’s preference. The preferred species can also be determined by memories of past Christmases.
In addition to the most commonly produced Indiana species described in the publication, other species may be available. Noble fir and grand fir are shipped in from the west coast and balsam fir from the Lake States and Canada. Balsam fir has been a fairly popular species in the past. Some growers are experimenting with other species such as Korean fir, Turkish fir, and Nordman fir. These are beautiful trees but since it can take at least seven years for these trees to reach Christmas tree size, don’t expect to find many choose and cut trees available just yet.

For more information about Christmas trees or to locate a choose-and-cut tree farm near you, please visit the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers’ website,  or the National Christmas Tree Association website.

Resources:
A Choose-and-Cut Pine and Fir Christmas Tree Case Study, The Education Store, Purdue Agriculture’s resource center
Living Christmas Trees For The Holidays and Beyond, The Education Store
Tips for First-Time Buyers of Real Christmas Trees, The Education Store
Growing Christmas Trees, The Education Store

Dr. Daniel Cassens, Professor Emeritus
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on November 14th, 2019 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Deer in woods.Hunting is an outdoor sport many enjoy while learning new skills, receiving fitness benefits and bringing healthy food options to their table. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program, reported 36,825 licences for 2017 as hunting continues to be a recognized and respected sport.

Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources has recently increased their resources for handling harvested game. This new video series shares step by step instructions starting with field dressing and continuing all the way through to packaging.

Video Series:
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 1, Field Dressing
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 2, Hanging & Skinning
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 3, Deboning
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging

Free handling harvested game workshops are held every year in September by Purdue Extension. If you would like to attend any of the available workshops please contact Jonathan Ferris, Wayne County Extension Director, or Dave Osborne, Ripley County Extension Director.  Feel free to view the Purdue Extension Calendar or the Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources’ Calendar for future scheduled workshops.

Other resources:
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection, video, The Education Store
Age Determination in White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store,
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store,
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store,
Maine Hunting License and Rules, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
Resources for the 2019 Deer Hunting Season, web page & video, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources

More resources with Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Purdue Extension:
Deer Tips 5: Location, Location
Deer Tips 6: Etiquette
Deer Tips 7: Tracking
Deer Tips 8: After the Harvest
Deer Tips 9: Final Thoughts
Deer Processing 1: Skinning

Bob Cordes, Wildlife Biologist
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Brandon Fields, Meat Science Manager
Pig Improvement Company (PIC)

Rod N Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on November 13th, 2019 in Forestry, How To, Nature of Teaching, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Six pieces of data to collect from deer you harvest this year
Deer season is upon us in Indiana! If you are a serious hunter and deer manager, here are some things you should consider collecting from deer you harvest. This data provides valuable insights to the deer herd condition, and when combined with hunter observation data and habitat data, like browse transects, you can get a clear picture of the deer herd and habitat quality on your property. However, one year of harvest data is unlikely to be much of value, but collecting data over multiple years can help you track trends in the herd and habitat quality.

What to collect
When you harvest a deer on your property you should consider collecting the following pieces of biological information:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Lactation status
  • Antler measurements
  • Rumen contents

*Each deer you harvest should be assigned a unique ID number to be sure all the following data is assigned to the right deer.

Sex and Age
Collecting deer sex and age (based on tooth replacement and wear) can help you divide the rest of the data you collect into sex and age classes. Find out how to determine age by viewing Age Determination in White-Tailed Deer video. You do not Deer scalenecessarily have to age a deer to the exact year, but you should separate ages into at least 3 age classes; fawns, yearlings, and >= 2.5 years old. This can be important for tracking changes to the average weight per age class or average antler measurements per age class over time.

Weight
You can collect either live weights or dressed weights, but you should pick one or the other and collect all weights consistently. Be sure to test your scales for accuracy before weighing deer. Tracking changes to the average weight per age class can provide Lactation statusinformation about the nutritional status of the herd.

Lactation Status
Lactation status of does is often used as an index of fawn recruitment and can help determine if a doe had a fawn the summer preceding the hunting season. Lactation status for does harvested early in the season can be checked by squeezing the teats to produce milk you may need to cut into the mammary gland on does harvested later in the season to check lactation status.

Antler measurementsAntler measurement
Antler measurements should be collected from bucks harvested on your property, including yearlings. Find out how to measure the antlers by viewing How to Score Your White-Tailed Deer video.  At a minimum, you should collect the number of points on each antler and the basal circumference of the main beams.  You may also consider collecting the inside spread of the antlers and the main beam lengths. Additionally, you can collect the gross Boone & Crockett Score.

Rumen contents
Deer stool sampleThis piece of data can be helpful from a scouting and hunting aspect. Looking into the rumen of a deer can help you determine what deer may be eating during the portion of the year the deer was harvested. You may find green material (which can be hard to identify), corn, acorns, or whatever else deer may be consuming.

Things you need to collect harvest data
Here is a list of items you might need to collect data from harvested deer.

  • Jawbone extractor
  • Knife
  • Loppers
  • Scale
  • Jawbone tag or permanent marker
  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Datasheet (click here for a white-tailed deer harvest datasheet)

Putting all of this data together can give you a picture into the condition of the deer herd on your property. Collecting this data only takes a small amount of time and effort and the information you gather is well worth it! For more information of how to collect biological data from harvested deer, check out this video from Purdue Extension.

Help the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) collect biological data from harvested deer
Most of the data we discussed in this blog post and that is covered in the White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection video, are data the Indiana DNR is collecting through an online post-harvest survey. This is a great opportunity for hunters to help the DNR collect data that will be used to manage the deer herd throughout the state. More information about the after the hunt survey can be found by visiting the Indiana DNR Deer After Hunt Survey page. If you are successful in harvesting a deer in Indiana this year, be sure to check your email for a link to the survey.

Additional Resources:
Age Determination in White-Tailed Deer video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
How to Score Your White-Tailed Deer video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
White-Tailed Deer Harvest Log (pdf), Purdue Extension-FNR
Indiana Deer Hunting, Biology and Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
2018 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Managing White-Tailed Deer: Collecting Data from Harvested Deer, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Prepare Now to Collect Deer Harvest Data, Quality Deer Management Association
Resources for the 2019 Deer Hunting Season, web page & video, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resource, Purdue University


Posted on October 18th, 2019 in How To, Land Use, Safety | No Comments »

ArcGIS.com
Unmanned Aerial Systems and Burn Management Strategies

On September 19, 2019 a controlled burn was conducted on the Doak grassland and forest property, owned and managed by the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. Burn events such as this one present a unique opportunity to demonstrate how UAS can be utilized as an effective tool to both monitor the burn events in real time, but also to effectively gather data before and after the burn to map and better manage vegetation. This collection of maps, videos, and images provide a narrative on how UAS can be used as an effective tool in controlled burn management practices. Beyond controlled burns, the story should demonstrate how UAS can be used to better monitor and inventory other disturbance events, whether they are planned or unexpected.

A Collaborative Effort
The data collected for this event represents a collaborative effort between multiple colleges at Purdue University and private industry. Employees with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources (College of Agriculture) performed and managed the burn while data collection for the pre and post-burn mapping was conducted by student researchers and pilots from the Purdue School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT; Polytechnic Institute). Peter Menet and Chris Johnson from MenetAero provided aerial monitoring support throughout the controlled burn. A total of three different aircraft were used during this event. The SATT student pilots deployed a C-Astral Bramor PPX equipped with a MicaSense Altum 6 band multispectral sensor at 121 meters before and after the event for mapping purposes. MenetAero deployed a C-Astral C4Eye to monitor the burn in real time using EO/Thermal IR video with real time geographic coordinates at 121 meters while SATT students monitored the burn with a DJI M600 equipped with a Zenmuse XT2 sensor at lower altitudes.

Monitoring the Burn:
The nimble nature of UAS makes them ideally suited to deploy rapidly, and into tight situations otherwise too dangerous for ground crews and manned aircraft. Add to this the aerial perspective offered by UAS via real-time video feed, and you have the perfect platform to assist in hazard events such as fire. The real-time video feed allows the UAS pilot and crew to communicate with ground-based fire crews, providing information on potential hazards and overall fire behavior patterns. For this aerial perspective to be effective, however, the video needs to have geospatial context so what the UAS operator is seeing is effectively communicated to ground-based fire crews. Full-Motion-Video, or video that has metadata with geospatial coordinate information, is a game changer in this regard. The video below shows how software such as Remote Geosystems Line Vision Ultimate can place video in a geospatial context. The video below is being played after the flight, but Pete Menet from MenetAero had the video live streaming to his Ground Station during the flight and was able to effectively serve as an ‘eye in the sky’ to provide real time information to ground based crews. This was all done in a controlled burn, but this same technology and method is used by MenetAero during Wild Fire Events where MenetAero provides UAS services as a contractor with the U.S. Department of Interior. Peter Menet and the MenetAero crew were kind enough to donate their services and time to the controlled burn event this day as part of a collaborative research effort between industry and Purdue.

A Before and After Comparison
Prior to recent advances in UAS technology, gathering imagery at sub-centimeter accuracy and resolution immediately before and after a planned burn event would prove difficult at best. The PPK technology on the C-Astral PPX allowed us to conduct the flights without the need to layout and survey ground control markers, but still achieve centimeter level accuracy by post-processing our data with a Continuously Operating Reference Stations in close proximity. Without UAS, getting satellite data within this time frame would have been pretty much impossible, and getting a manned aircraft to do this prohibitively expensive.

Making Sense of it all through Classification Analysis
Pre-Burn Land Cover Classification
When we think of disturbance events, we often think of the unplanned ones – fire, ice storms, wind storms, floods, etc. But what about planed disturbances such as a controlled burn, or a timber harvest operation? In the case of a planned disturbance, we have the ability to inventory land cover immediately before an event, and then with classification methods, quantify that land cover. Land Use/Cover classification methods are nothing new, and go back to the very beginnings of GIS/Remote Sensing, but new here is the ability to deploy a UAS to get this data in a way that is accurate and precise enough to classify down to resolutions of several square centimeters. Add to that the imagery was gathered less than an hour before the burn and you have some amazing potential for forestland management.

*Thank you to ArcGIS.com for sharing the great work of our FNR specialists as they continue to “strengthen lives and livelihoods” here in Indiana and around the world.

Resources
Unmanned Aerial Systems and Burn Management Strategies, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Burn Management Strategies webpage
Effective Firebreaks for Safe Use of Prescribed Fire, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension
Prescribed fire: 6 things to consider before you ignite, Got Nature? Blog
Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Calibrating a No-Till Drill for Conservation Plantings and Wildlife Food Plots, The Education Store

Jarred Brooke, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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