Forest Service Opens Data Stores, Improves Forest Management and Public Education
REDLANDS, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 24, 2016 — Esri and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service announce the publication of Engagement Portfolio, a gallery of maps and apps that gives everyone access to US forestry data. The portfolio of maps and analysis tools opens the Forest Service's rich content to a broad spectrum of users, engaging everyone from forestry professionals to conservation-minded laypeople.
Engagement Portfolio opens up the Forestry Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database, a trove of detailed information on the nation's forest ecosystems, which the Forest Service has maintained for almost a century.
"We're excited to make our agency's authoritative data more widely available, facilitating conservation actions and investments by the forest products industry, state agencies, academia, consultants, and the public alike," says Carlos Rodriguez-Franco, acting deputy chief, research and development, USDA Forest Service. "The tools we're releasing today demonstrate the best of what's possible through private-public partnerships. We're opening up data for more than 800 million acres of US forests and woodlands that provide clean water, clean air, wildlife and fish habitat, recreational opportunities, and resources for economic development."
A large-scale map and a chart-populated perspective of the nation's forests enable forest managers and companies that rely on forest products to strategically plan. In addition, story maps and other interactive tools teach the public about forestry's vital role in sustaining the earth's health.
"Interactive access to data helps everyone make better decisions about our fragile ecosystem," says John Steffenson, director, global business development, natural resources, Esri. "The Forest Service's new Engagement Portfolio transforms the agency's wealth of data into information products that anyone can relate to and that powerfully convey the value of the nation's forests."
Climate change response requires smarter solutions for stewarding precious natural resources. By serving valuable data about forest ecosystems that directly relates to quality of life, the Forest Service information educates and assists in strategies to blunt the effects of extreme weather and global warming.
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