A Standardized, Cost-Effective, and Repeatable Remote Sensing Methodology to Quantify Forested Resources in Texas
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.