Use of Remote Sensing Technologies to Monitor Revegetation at Remote Construction Sites and Wildfire Burn Areas
Revegetation after a wildfire or a construction project can be difficult to monitor and quantify. Both situations have the same desired outcome; revegetate the affected areas with as much vegetative covers as quick as possible to prevent unnecessary excessive erosion. When fires and construction activities occur in remote areas it can be difficult to monitor the long-term vegetative establishment schedule. Using remote sensing technologies, such as high resolution multi spectral imagery and LiDAR, it is possible to efficiently monitor these affected areas over time and monitor vegetation coverage in targeted areas. With remotely sensed data acquired from a drone or manned aircraft, we can collect vegetation percent overages prior to construction activities, monitor the project’s limits of disturbance (limit the actual footprint of disturbance to design criteria), and then track the effectiveness of the revegetation (i.e. hydro-seeding) process in the goal of reaching the required 70% of background vegetation coverage that is mandated by the Construction General Permit for demonstrating stabilization and termination of permit coverage. This presentation will demonstrate the use of remote sensing technology to collect preconstruction vegetation growth and compare to post construction vegetation growth to hit that 70% goal.
For wildfire impacted areas, utilizing remote sensing technologies to monitor revegetation efforts can assist planners in focusing limited resources to those areas that require the most assistance to stabilize the landscape. Using LiDAR, highly detailed topographic maps can be created that enable the analysis of terrain and assist in identifying areas of potential failure.
The use of this technology can greatly minimize the amount of “boots on the ground” hours in getting to remote areas to perform vegetation re-establishment surveys can be very cost effective to certain landowners such as utilities and transportation entities that traverse remote areas to assess fire damage/impacts. Some potential examples are electric utility companies that perform condition assessments on their transmission lines over mountains and remote areas.
Discussion of how LiDAR works, the analysis process, and general benefits to time and cost of remote sensing technologies will be discussed using PowerPoint slides/graphics/possibly videos and active discussion/questions.