Applying Lessons from the United States in Developing Canada's Forest Inventory: A Review

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Canada and the United States have each introduced continuous forest inventory approaches over the past 10 years. A series of seven criteria are proposed to assess the ability of these inventories to provide high precision, useful data across multiple jurisdictions at reasonable cost. The Canadian inventory is undertaken by both federal and provincial agencies and measured on a 10-year cycle compared with a 5-year cycle used in the United States. Sampling intensity in the United States is significantly higher than in Canada. The accessibility of US data via the Web was much greater than in Canada, because of the wider array of tools and report options available. The Canadian system, although less expensive, has sampled considerably fewer trees, and that impacts data precision and resolution. Accessibility of Canadian data is deficient compared with the US system. The Canadian inventory should consider increasing sampling and improving access to data to match US development.

Keywords: continuous forest inventory; efficiency of program delivery; inventory precision; inventory utility

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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