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Posted on September 29th, 2022 in Forestry, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue College of Agriculture News: Purdue University has received $12 million of a $35 million project led by the American Forest Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities to help family forest owners practice climate-smart forestry in Indiana and eight other states throughout the eastern half of the U.S.

The project’s other partners are The Nature Conservancy, the Center for Heirs Property Preservation, and Women Owning Woodlands. The project could sequester an estimated 4.9 million tons of atmospheric carbon—a greenhouse gas that affects climate—over a 20- to 30-year period.

“Our digital forestry group has been working on various tools and thinking about how to apply these tools to real-life problems,” said Songlin Fei, who directs Purdue’s Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative. “This is an opportunity to apply our expertise to solving part of the climate-change puzzle.” Purdue’s cross-disciplinary Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative includes faculty members from the colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Sciences, Liberal Arts and Libraries and the Polytechnic Institute. The Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative, one of the five strategic investments in Purdue’s Next Moves, leverages digital technology and multidisciplinary expertise to measure, monitor and manage urban and rural forests to maximize social, economic and ecological benefits. “We’re bringing a traditional field into the digital age,” said Fei, professor, Forestry and Natural Resources, and Dean’s Chair of Remote Sensing.Drone being used to map forest research plots

Purdue will utilize advanced digital forestry technologies to do the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon sequestrations that the project requires. The automated technology, applied at a regional scale with unprecedented accuracy, will be based on data collected by satellites and drones with various sensors, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR). The team will also develop a simulation system that will utilize artificial intelligence to generate optimized forest management scenarios.

The work will result in a web-based tool that landowners can use to estimate and predict the climate-smart commodity market potential of their properties. The team is also building a smartphone-based app for tree measurement and monitoring.

American families own nearly 40 percent of the nation’s forests, yet few of them take part in forest carbon projects or work from a management plan. However, with proper management, trees can grow faster and sequester more carbon, Fei said.

Landowners will receive economic incentives for participating in the program. Payment to landowners will depend on which climate-smart carbon practices they use. Project staff or consulting foresters will also provide landowners technical advice and guidance in establishing a forest management plan.

Full article > > >

Resources:
Timber Harvesting and Logging Practices for Private Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Marketing Timber, The Education Store
Woodland Wildlife Management, The Education Store
A Landowner’s Guide to Sustainable Forestry: Part 3: Keeping Your Forest Healthy and Productive, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners Video Series, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

Purdue University Department of Agricultural Communication

Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative (iDiF)


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