Planning Links

Purpose

The planning data links page includes a set of spatially-explicit data and tools to support forest assessment, planning, and monitoring at multiple scales. Resources are organized around thematic areas, and include a short description and link to an external page where the dataset(s) or tool(s) are housed. This page will be updated periodically as new databases and tools become available.

Resources*

Federal Land Manager Environmental Database

The Federal Land Manager Environmental Database hosts environmental data and tools to analyze air quality on federally protected lands. It is hosted and maintained by Colorado State University.

EPA Critical Loads Mapper

The Critical Loads Mapper tool (CL Mapper) includes information on the effects of atmospheric nitrogen and sulfur deposition. The data is free and available for download, and is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service and the National Park Service.

Protected Areas Database - USGS

The USGS Protected Areas Database (PAD-US) is an inventory of U.S. terrestrial and marine protected areas. The most recent update (PAD-US 2.1) is now available for download. PAD-US can be used to support conservation, land management, planning, recreation, and other uses.

Natural Resources Conservation Science Snow Survey products

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service National Water and Climate Center supports the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program and Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) Pilot Program for the U.S. A new tool, the Colorado Basin-Wide Interactive SNOTEL graphs, provides figures that display period of record snow water equivalent (SWE) and precipitation, as well as future projections for SWE and precipitation at basin and sub-basin scales. See https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/co/snow/products/ for other snow-related survey products.

The Climate Toolbox

The Climate Toolbox includes tools to visualize historical and projected climate and hydrology across the conterminous United States. The toolbox is useful for addressing questions related to agriculture, climate, fire conditions, and water. Users can query and download tabular, graphical, and spatial data for use in planning and analysis. The Climate Toolbox was developed and is managed by the Applied Climate Science Lab at the University of California-Merced and University of Washington Hydro group at the University of Washington.

WestWide Drought Tracker

The WestWide Drought Tracker (WWDT) includes drought monitoring and climate products derived from the PRISM Climate Mapping Program. Products include drought indices (e.g., PDSI, SPEI) and climate data (e.g., temperature and precipitation, anomalies, and percentiles). Historical time-series data is available for download at multiple scales (e.g., points, counties, watersheds).

Climate Engine

Climate Engine uses Google’s Earth Engine to process remote sensing and climate data. Users can map values and anomalies on-demand and download data in GeoTIFF format; and extract time-series and statistical summaries in .csv or .xlsx format. The Climate Engine also supports early warning system products to detect climate impacts related to drought, wildfire, ecological stress, and agricultural production. The web app is hosted and supported by the Desert Research Institute and the University of Idaho.

Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT)

LanDAT assesses whether vegetation changes on the landscape are moving towards desired conditions. Additionally, it aides in quantifying and integrating landscape resilience information. It was developed and is maintained by the USFS and University of North Carolina-Ashville National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.

Forest Inventory and Analysis Program

The Forest and Inventory Analysis (FIA) Program boasts a spatially balanced “all lands” sampling grid, extensive plot data, consistent remeasurement, and dedicated funding from Congress. FIA reports on status and trends in forest area and location; species, size, and health of trees; tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest, wood production and utilization rates; and forest land ownership. EVALIDATOR and other agency tools provide a platform for public users to interact with and download FIA data. rFIA is a non-agency, open-source R function developed to make FIA data more publicly accessible.

Individual Tree Species Parameter Maps

The Individual Tree Species Parameter Maps (ITSP) include estimates of basal areas and stand density index for individual tree species. The ITSP supports the National Insect and Disease Risk Map (NIDRM). Basal area and stand density products are derived from 30-meter Landsat data, climate, terrain, and soil predictor layers (e.g., soil drainage and soil productivity indices), and the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data.

Rangeland Analysis Platform

The Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) is a free, publicly available tool that assesses the rangeland resource condition across the United States. Trends in rangeland resources can be summarized at pasture, landscape, or regional scales. The RAP allows for real-time visualization and monitoring over time of the percent vegetation cover of annual grasses and forbs, perennial grasses and forbs, shrubs, trees, and bare ground. RAP was developed to support management decisions using the best available science and information. RAP is supported by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, and the University of Montana.

Insect and Disease Detection Survey database

Detection surveys provide information about forests affected by pest and pathogen disturbances. The Forest Health Assessment and Applied Sciences Team (FHAAST) supports USFS regions and cooperators each field season collecting detection surveys. Geospatial data is collected and stored in the National Insect and Disease Survey (IDS) database. These are used to produce the Forest Insect and Disease Conditions in the United States reports and the National Forest Health Conditions and Highlights Interactive Story Maps. Data is available to download by region and for individual years or throughout the period of record.

National Insect and Disease Risk and Hazard Mapping

The 2012 National Insect and Disease Risk Map (NIDRM) is a nationwide assessment that evaluates tree mortality risk from insects and disease for the years 2013-2027. NIDRM is based on 186 individual models that are integrated within a common Geographic Information System. NIDRM is a strategic planning tool. The data can be summarized at 6th level Hydrological Unit Code (HUC) sub-watersheds and allows the user to generate both composite hazard assessments and assessments by specific insects and diseases.

Landfire

LANDFIRE includes a set of nationally consistent, “all-lands” geospatial products and databases that summarize disturbance, vegetation, fuel, fire regime, topographic, and seasonal data at 30-meter resolution to support landscape assessment, analysis, and management. LANDFIRE is managed by the wildland fire management programs of the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS)

Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) is an interagency program which maps burn severity and extent of large fires across all lands of the United States and Puerto Rico from 1984 to present. This includes all fires 1000 acres or greater in the western United States and 500 acres or greater in the eastern Unites States.

Suppression Difficulty Index

The Wildfire Suppression Difficulty Index (SDI) quantifies the difficulty in controlling fire and can be used to facilitate strategic and tactical fire management decisions. This tool was developed and is managed by the USDA Forest Service Wildfire Risk Management Science Team.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program provides publicly available data products for fires from 2000-present across “all-lands.” BAER products include pre- and post-fire imagery and a differenced normalized burn ratio. All products are available and intended for use in a Geographic Information System. The dataset is hosted and maintained by the USDA Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC).

Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG)

The Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG) program assesses vegetation condition following large wildfires on USDA Forest Service-managed lands. Users can download data for individual fires or multiple fire events, as well data compiled for all fire perimeters and forest and fire characteristics across the United States annually. It is managed by the USDA Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC).

Center for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)

Communities are confronted with and must prepare for, and respond to, disturbances (e.g., wildfire or flood). Some people and communities are disproportionately more vulnerable to these disturbances. The Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP) manages the Center for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index, which uses U.S. Census Data to determine the social vulnerability of communities at the census tract level based on 15 social factors and 4 themes: socioeconomic status; household composition; race, ethnicity, and language; and housing/transportation.

Wildfire Risk to Communities

Wildfire Risk to Communities includes a set of interactive maps, charts, and resources to understand, explore, and reduce community wildfire risk. Data is available for download data at the community, county, and state levels. Data available include risk to homes; burn probability or wildfire likelihood; exposure types; wildfire consequence; conditional flame length; flame length exceedance probabilities; and wildfire hazard potential. Wildfire Risk to Communities was developed by the USDA Forest Service in partnership with Pyrologix and Headwaters Economics.

Headwaters Economics - Populations at Risk

The Populations at Risk tool developed by Headwaters Economics generates socioeconomic reports document at-risk populations. At-risk populations are defined by a number of factors in the tool, including for example, poverty, housing affordability, and race and ethnicity. Reports can be generated at multiple scales (e.g., census tracts, counties, states, rural areas).

Colorado Forest Atlas

The Colorado Forest Atlas includes three public applications (forest action plan 2020; wildfire risk viewer; and risk reduction planner), which can be used as decision support tools for developing new projects, forest planning, assessing forest conditions and wildfire risk to communities, among others. Data is not available for direct download, but county-level map books can be downloaded.

Silvis WUI

The Silvis Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed and houses Wildland-Urban Interface maps that illustrate where WUI was located in 1990, 2000, and 2010. Data are appropriate for mapping and analysis from the local to national scale, and can be downloaded by state or for the conterminous U.S.

Microsoft Building Footprints

The Microsoft Building Footprints includes over 125 million computer-generated building footprints across the United States. The data is free and available for download.

National Forest Socioeconomic Indicators Tool

The National Forest Socioeconomic Indicators tool was developed by Headwaters Economics to provide relevant socio-economic data for USDA Forest Service planning purposes. The tool includes data on trends in population, employment, and personal income; unemployment rate; families in poverty; federal land payments; race and ethnicity, among others. Data is available for download in .pdf format at the county and national forest level. The tool can be useful to monitor USDA Forest Service contributions to, and impacts on, adjacent and forest-dependent communities.

USGS National Water Dashboard

The USGS National Water Dashboard includes real-time water data collected at USGS observation stations along with weather-related data. The National Water Dashboard is a interactive map viewer which provides current and historical data from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). Information on lakes, wells, water quality, precipitation, temperature, relative humidity, among others, are included.

RMRS Norwest

Norwest houses stream temperature data and climate scenarios for streams and rivers in the western U.S. Stream temperature data summaries and modeled stream temperature scenario maps are available for download (e.g., GIS shapefile; PDF maps). Raw data files and R scripts are provided to support analysis. NorWest is managed by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Watershed Condition Framework

The Watershed Classification Interactive Map Viewer provides access to Watershed Condition Framework data, which identifies priority watersheds (e.g., at risk or impaired watersheds). Data is summarized at the Hydrological Unit Code 12 (HUC12) level for watersheds containing at least 5% National Forest System Lands. The interactive map viewer is managed by the USDA Forest Service.

Integrated monitoring in bird conservation regions/Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

The Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center is the portal for avian information collected by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and collaborators. Much of the data can be queried and explored, including data on focal and sensitive species, as well as trend data for bird populations at multiple scales.

CPW All Species Monitoring Data

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) All Species Activity Mapping Data layer package was created by the CPW GIS Unit. It provides the public with free access to Colorado state parks and wildfire distributions GIS data. It is useful for environmental assessment and resource planning.

*This curated list was derived from: 1) a review of USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region (Region 2) forest unit monitoring plans under the 2012 planning rule; 2) results from a series of workshops facilitated by the Southwest Ecological Restoration Institutes (SWERIs) on developing a framework for the USDA Forest Service Broader-Scale Monitoring Strategy (Waltz et al. 2017, pg. 87); and c) an informal planning and monitoring data, information, and science needs assessment with seven resource specialists at the Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC).