Hello, my name is David Christian. I am a forestry professional working for a mid-size forestry consulting company in beautiful British Columbia. Over the past 3 years Lidar has become integrated into the forest industry here in BC. The more I learn about Lidar the more I see how much of a role it will play in the future, not only in the forest industry but in many environmental applications.
Compared to many of you, my involvement with Lidar may not be that extensive. I typically (at the moment) am using Lidar in the forest industry as a planning tool for the design of forest road construction, bridge design, cutblock design and hydrological mapping.
British Columbia has very sensitive environmental features which we work hard to protect. One of the most important resource features in BC is streams. When planning road and cutblock design we manage to the best of our ability to mitigate impact to streams whether they are fish bearing or not. We use Lidar Moonscape maps to help us pre-identify stream locations so we can more accurately manage streams.
Each day my colleagues and I learn more about Lidar. I have created an online forum – LidarForum.com, to help industry professionals better understand Lidar. Together we can learn about Lidars full capabilities and see how others are integrating Lidar into their professions. The Lidar community is growing larger each day. More and more industry leaders are looking to Lidar as a planning tool.
By the end of 2013 the Alberta Government had flown all crown land in the province and now has integrated this data into all provincial mapping applications. Alberta, rich in natural resources, has data that can now be implemented into the oil and gas industry. It is only a matter of time until BC follows suit.
Already in BC (Vancouver Island) a joint venture between British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) and Western Forest Products (WFP) has taken place. The two organizations joined forces to have Lidar data for their North Island divisions. I was able to attend a Lidar webinar where they explained what they were using the data for and what their experience was. A link to the webinar is available on LidarForum.com.
Hopefully this article has helped you to understand how Lidar is being used in the forest industry. I will be sure to write more articles about my experience with Lidar and what projects I am working on. I hope to talk with you on the forum where together we can all gain more knowledge of Lidar and its many applications.