Assessment of Stream Management Zones and Road Beautifying Buffers in Georgia Based on Remote Sensing and Various Ground Inventory Data
Abstract:Stream management zones (SMZs) and road beautifying buffers (RBBs) are voluntary in Georgia and have an unknown extent and impact on the state's forest production. We describe analyses of these buffers, including an estimation of their potential areas and volumes, and their distributions in different forest cover types under an assumption of their full implementation. We base this analysis on Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery and various sources of ancillary data, such as those from the Georgia Gap Analysis Program, the Forest Inventory and Analysis large-scale forest survey, and various industrial forest ground inventories. We considered stream data classified into trout, perennial, and intermittent streams, which we combined with elevation and slope information to assess buffer widths consistent with Georgia's Best Management Practices rules. Our results indicate that minimum width 12.2-m SMZ buffers would occupy about 4.01% of the total forested area in Georgia and would cover about 4.32% of the state's volume. The area of the wider, 30.5-m SMZ buffers would cover about 8.65% of the total forested area in Georgia and would cover about 9.27% of the state's total volume. The minimum-width 12.2-m RBBs would occupy about 3.64% of the total forested area in Georgia and would cover about 3.52% of the state's volume. The area of the wider, 30.5-m RBBs would occupy almost 8.68% of the total forested area in Georgia and would cover about 8.40% of the state's total volume.
Keywords: Forest Inventory and Analysis; Gap Analysis Program; Landsat Thematic Mapper Plus; best management practices; geographic information system; riparian zone; road beautifying buffer; stream management zones; sustainability
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2009
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