Remote-Sensing LiDAR to Measure Biodiversity on Lands Certified to the SFI Program Standard

Project Overview
Optimizing forest management for biodiversity across large scale landscapes presents the challenge of understanding baseline conditions across large and often remote areas. To pave a better way forward, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) will receive $67,320 over three years to assess biodiversity values on SFI certified lands using LiDAR. LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light.
The grant offers an ideal opportunity for AFF, PLT, the Conservation District and local schools to partner in providing a lasting impact. The Conference attendees gained professional development experience allowing them to widely implement Project Learning Tree. Additionally, students from local schools were given the opportunity to share their Project Learning Tree journals and artwork with the larger conference audience.
Specifically, UNBC will investigate the relationships between LiDAR-derived metrics of forest structure, forest biodiversity indicators and tree density in sub-boreal forest of central British Columbia. They will then develop protocols and guidance for using LiDAR data to rapidly evaluate forest structure and biodiversity at the stand and landscape level. The resulting information will enable future use of LiDAR data sets to study forest carbon sequestration, water quality, riparian health, and other conservation values of concern.
The project intersects with SFI certification standards through conservation of biological diversity, and requirements for wildlife habitat conservation.
Project Partners
For this project University of Northern British Columbia will partner with SFI Program Participant Dunkley Lumber, Aleza Lake Research Forest Society, UNBC Geography, and Ministry of Forests: Lands and Natural Resources Operations Government of British Columbia.
About University of Northern British Columbia
ProUniversity of Northern British Columbia, UNBC, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate learning opportunities that explore cultures, health, economies, and the environment. As one of BC’s research-intensive universities, we bring the excitement of new knowledge to all of our students, and the outcomes of our teaching and research to the world. At UNBC, sustainability is in our nature, for a wide variety of reasons. Geographically, we are located in one of the world’s most magnificent natural settings: Northern BC. We are living in the North during a time of great change, including the lingering impacts of the pine beetle, increased interest in mineral and energy resource development, and our changing climate.