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Society for the Protection of NH Forests

Founded by a handful of concerned citizens in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society) is now one of the country’s most effective statewide land conservation organizations. As a non-profit membership organization, the Forest Society is dedicated to protecting the state’s most important landscapes while promoting the wise use of its renewable natural resources.

Challenge

One of the mandates of the Forest Society is to monitor their conservation properties and easements at least once per year. With a growing number of conservation areas held in trust and limited resources (staff and volunteers), site visits to each property were getting more challenging each year. To solve this growing problem, the Easement Stewardship Department began reviewing remote sensing solutions, where 100% annual coverage and permanent digital record could be guaranteed.

Solution

After a thorough search, the Forest Society Easement Stewardship team engaged GeoVantage to develop a long term monitoring solution. Working closely with the GeoVantage team, reviewing sample imagery and discussing the costs and benefits of various options, they selected a 1-meter resolution, 4-band (Red, Green, Blue, NIR) imagery solution to be collected in spring before leaf emergence. This solution would allow the Forest Society to see the ground through the trees and have all of the remote monitoring completed before summer. Areas of concern (potential encroachments) within imagery would then be identified and used to prioritize summer and fall site visits.

Result

After several years of flying, Forest Society determined that not only has the GeoVantage imagery proved to be a valuable tool for identification of encroachments (see example below), but imagery guided site visits reduced the cost of monitoring their properties and easements. With 100% coverage, permanent digital record and lower monitoring costs, GeoVantage imagery will remain the solution for years to come.

Trails_Unlim_Encroach_2013_map

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