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A standardized remote sensing methodology was evaluated for its use in quantifying the forested resources of the state of Texas in a timely and cost-effective manner. Landsat data from 2002 were used to create a land cover base map encompassing a four-county study area in East Texas. Site-specific and non-site-specific accuracy assessments of the classified map indicate that overall the 2002 base map accuracy of 72.78% was within acceptable remote sensing standards for Landsat data and that forest cover types derived from 2002, 1987, and 1980 Landsat data were within 4.4, 0.5, and 7.4% agreement with Forest Inventory and Analysis Program data collected in 1988, 1988, and 1980 respectively. A classified image representing five age class distributions for all forest cover types, derived through a Boolean manipulation of forest cover type maps from 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1984, 1980, and 1974, indicates that overall map accuracy for age class distributions based on 30-m Landsat data from 1974 through 2002 was 58.69%. Overall, results indicate that remote sensing in conjunction with ground truthing can accurately quantify forest composition and age distributions using standardized and readily available data.


Unger, D., Kroll, J., Hung, I., Williams, J., Coble, D., and Grogan, J. 2008. A Standardized, Cost-Effective, and Repeatable Remote Sensing Methodology to Quantify Forested Resources in Texas. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 32(1):12-20.

Posted with permission from the Society of American Foresters



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