Forest Damage Aerial Detection Survey 1980 - 2012

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Frequently-anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: Forest Damage Aerial Detection Survey 1980 - 2012
Every summer for approximately the past fifty years, an insect and disease aerial detection survey has been flown of all the forested acres of Washington state (except where noted in the digital data by large 'NF' (not flown) areas). This survey is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the WADNR with two different flight observers each sketching a two mile swath out their side of the plane. The primary mission of the survey is to record recently killed and defoliated groups of trees throughout the state, and to continually build a historical record of these trends. The vast majority of damage found is caused by insect and disease damage agents; however, trees killed by early spring feeding of black bears or by events such as winter storms, fires, floods and landslides are recorded as well. Current defoliation can be detected as soon as the affected foliage changes color that year. However, whole tree mortality is not current since only flagged trees (i.e., trees which have a bright red, orange, or yellow foliage color) are recorded. This means that trees killed the year of the survey will not have changed color yet and so a one year lag time results. Since only this distinctive color or "signature" of the tree can be seen. It is an educated guess as to the causal agent. We therefore use ground surveys to reinforce our estimates as much as possible. Example: When bear damage is spotted while surveying, a polygon is drawn on the map of the size and location of the damage. The polygon is then labeled with the appropriate damage agent (i.e. Bear) and the number of trees affected rounded to the nearest five. No vertical data is recorded.
The geographic area for this data is statewide, for all forested, non-urban areas. Urban and non-forested areas are excluded. There are some years, such as the early 70's and 80's where portions of the state were omitted due to budgetary constraints.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    WA Department of Natural Resour, Region 6, Annually beginning in 1980, Forest Damage Aerial Detection Survey 1980 - 2012.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -124.798983
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -116.906087
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 49.047269
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 45.485504

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Calendar_Date: unknown
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • G-polygon (341291)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      The map projection used is Lambert Conformal Conic.

      Projection parameters:
      Standard_Parallel: 45.833333
      Standard_Parallel: 47.333333
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -120.500000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 45.333333
      False_Easting: 1640416.666667
      False_Northing: 0.000000

      Planar coordinates are encoded using coordinate pair
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 1.000000
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 1.000000
      Planar coordinates are specified in survey feet

      The horizontal datum used is D_North_American_1983_HARN.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.

      Altitude_Resolution: 1.000000
      Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?


    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI)

    Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

    Arc/Info coverage polygon ID.

    Combined code that includes all agent codes and severity codes (AGENT1, DAM1C, AGENT2, DAM2C, AGENT3, DAM3C)

    First Damaging Agent Code

    1Douglas-fir Beetle
    2Douglas-fir Engraver
    3Engelmann Spruce Beetle
    4Fir Engraver
    5Western Balsam Bark Beetle, Sub-Alpine Fir
    FFlathead Borer
    6J (only found in data from State of Oregon)Mountain Pine Beetle, Jeffrey Pine
    6K (only found in data from State of Oregon)Mountain Pine Beetle, Knobcone Pine
    6LMountain Pine Beetle, Lodgepole Pine
    6PMountain Pine Beetle, Ponderosa Pine
    6S (only found in data from State of Oregon)Mountain Pine Beetle, Sugar Pine
    6WMountain Pine Beetle, Western White Pine
    6BMountain Pine Beetle, Whitebark Pine
    7Ips, Pine
    8Western Pine Beetle
    88Western Pine Beetle, Pole-size Ponderosa Pine
    9Silver Fir Beetle
    ABBalsam Woolly Adelgid L/M/H or #stems[1993->]
    ACCooley Spruce Gall Aphid L/M/H
    AMMaple discoloration
    ASSpruce Aphid L/M/H
    BBWestern Blackheaded Budworm L/M/H
    BM (only found in data from State of Oregon)Modoc Budworm L/M/H/V
    BM (only found in data from State of Oregon)Moduc Budworm 1/2/3/4*
    BP (only found in data from State of Oregon)Sugar Pine Tortrix L/M/H
    BSWestern Spruce Budworm L/M/H/V
    BSWestern Spruce Budworm 1/2/3/4*
    CHLarch Casebearer/Hypodermella L/M/H
    GPGouty Pitch Midge L/M/H
    HLWestern Hemlock Looper L/M/H
    LGGreen Striped Forest Looper L/M/H
    LLLarch Looper L/M/H
    LSBlack Pine Leaf Scale L/M/H
    MDDouglas-fir Budmoth L/M/H
    MLLarch Budmoth L/M/H
    MNDouglas-fir Needle Midge L/M/H
    MSSpruce Budmoth L/M/H
    NMNeedle Miner L/M/H
    NDNeedle Miner, Douglas-fir L/M/H
    NJ (only found in data from State of Oregon)Needle Miner, Jeffrey Pine L/M/H
    NK (only found in data from State of Oregon)Needle Miner, Knobcone Pine L/M/H
    NLNeedle Miner, Lodgepole Pine L/M/H
    NPNeedle Miner, Ponderosa Pine L/M/H
    NS (only found in data from State of Oregon)Needle Miner, Sugar Pine L/M/H
    NTNeedle Miner, True Fir L/M/H
    NWNeedle Miner, Western White Pine L/M/H
    OLWestern Oak Looper L/M/H
    PBPine Butterfly L/M/H
    PHPhantom Hemlock Looper L/M/H
    PM (only found in data from State of Oregon)Pandora Moth L/M/H
    PNPine Needlesheath Miner L/M/H
    PSPine Needle Scale L/M/H
    SSpider Mite L/M/H
    SASawfly L/M/H
    SDSawfly, Douglas-fir L/M/H
    SFSawfly, True Fir L/M/H
    SHSawfly, Hemlock L/M/H
    SK (only found in data from State of Oregon)Sawfly, Knobcone Pine L/M/H
    SLSawfly, Lodgepole Pine L/M/H
    SMSatin Moth L/M/H
    SPSawfly, Ponderosa Pine L/M/H
    SWSawfly, Western Larch L/M/H
    TATent Caterpillar, Alder L/M/H
    TCTent Caterpillar, Other L/M/H
    TMDouglas-fir Tussock Moth L/M/H
    TSTent Caterpillar, Aspen L/M/H
    CCCytospora Canker L/M/H
    BRBlister Rust L/M/H or # trees per acre
    BYBynum's Blight; Lophodermella Mordida, Ponderosa L/M/H
    DHDying Hemlock L/M/H
    HDHardwood decline L/M/H
    LCNeedle cast, Lodgepole Pine L/M/H
    LW (only found in data from State of Oregon)Black Stain Root Disease
    NFAreas Not Flown
    PL (only found in data from State of Oregon)Port Orford Cedar Root Disease, Phytopthora lateralis
    PMDPacific Madrone Decline L/M/H
    PRNeedle Rust in Poplars L/M/H
    RCNeedle cast, Larch L/M/H
    RBRed Belt L/M/H
    RDRoot Disease
    SNCSwiss Needle Cast L/M/H
    BEARBear Damage # stems [1993->]
    FIREFire Damage
    HAILHail Damage L/M/H
    OUTNo Damage Detected (in the middle of a polygon with activity)
    WATRWater Damage
    WNTRWinter Damage
    UNKUnknown (2000 survey only)
    UNKDUnknown Defoliation (2001 and Later)
    UNKMUnknown Mortality (2001 and Later)



    First damaging agent mortality (trees per acre) or intensity

    Range of values
    Minimum:.25 trees per acre or Light (L) intensity
    Maximum:50+ trees per acre or Heavy (H) intensity

    Optional Second Damaging Agent Code



    Optional second damaging agent mortality (trees per acre) or intensity

    Optional Third Damaging Agent Code



    Optional third damaging agent mortality (trees per acre) or intensity

    Range of values
    Minimum:.25 trees per acre or Light (L) intensity
    Maximum:50+ trees per acre or Heavy (H) intensity

    Numeric version of DAM1C.

    Numeric version of DAM2C.

    Numeric version of DAM3C.

    Survey year.

    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI)

    Coordinates defining the features.

    Polygon feature area. (Source: ESRI)

    Polygon feature perimeter length. (Source: ESRI)

    AGENT OVERVIEW: (AGENT1, AGENT2, AGENT3) All recorded polygons are attributed with a damage agent code and the number of affected trees. some polygons are doubly or even triply attributed if more than one damage agent or more than one species of host is contained within it. The definitions of these damage agent codes are contained in the metadata attached to each file. Some damage agents such as foliar diseases and defoliating insects are given a severity rating (i.e. L = light, M = medium or H = high) with the understanding that all suitable trees within the polygon are affected. INTENSITIES AND MORTALITY NUMBERS OVERVIEW: (DAM1C, DAM2C, DAM3C) If the agent is mortality causing such as Bark Beetle or Bear damage, a number is attached indicating the number of trees killed rounded to the nearest 5, or the number of trees per acre killed when an A is attached. If the agent is a foliar disease or insect, an intensity or severity code is used: L indicates Light M indicates Medium H indicates Heavy/High *Exception-from 1990-1998 a numbering system was used for Budworm defoliation intensities: 1 = Current year's defoliation is visible from the air. 2 = Current year's defoliation with some bare tops visible (very little gray - still a lot of foliage.) 3 = Current year's defoliation visible with a lot of bare tops visible (some gray colors with some foliage in host trees visible.) 4 = Current year's defoliation with bare crowns (very gray in color, no visible green foliage in tree). (This system was used in order to incorporate the data into a hazard model used by the US Forest Service. It has the advantage of showing the cumulative effects of repeated defoliation.) ATTRIBUTE EXAMPLES AND EXPLANATIONS: 6P-5 = Mountain Pine Beetle, Ponderosa Pine with 5 affected trees in the polygon. The trees/polygon are then converted to a trees/acre by running them through another program (by using the acreage). Some polygons are reported as trees/acre in the initial survey - these polygons will have attributes like: 4-.25A. The trees/acre is reflected in the arc coverages with AGENT1-3 and DAM1C-3C items, where the up-to-three codes/polygon have been separated out and converted to trees/acre. BS-M!4-30 = Fir engraver polygon with 30 affected trees in the polygon, occurring inside a moderate severity Budworm polygon - these acres are basically double-counted. Note the addition of 6 items: AGENT1, DAM1C, AGENT2, DAM2C, AGENT3, and DAM3C. These six items represent individual causal agents (AGENTx) and the trees/acre mortality or severity (L,M,H) code associated with the causal agent (DAMxC), because there can be up to three agents associated with each polygon. These 6 items were added to enable users to calculate total number of trees killed/polygon even after the polygon's been split with a clip or intersect. Example: AL: 4-10!BS-L!8-.25A for a twenty acre polygon would be converted to: AGENT1: 4 DAM1C: .5000 (now trees/acre, vs. the original trees/polygon) AGENT2: BS DAM2C: L AGENT3: 8 DAM3C: .2500 (the original data was captured in tpa, as indicated by the A, so this number is simply transferred to the DAMxC item) Non-standard codes maintained in historic files without conversion: 21 Unknown Mortality, Western WhitePine - OLY 1951-55. BRC "Fungus of SpruceCones" - OLY 1954 (possibly additional years) F1-#, F2-#, F3-# Flatheaded woodborer and drought in SW Oregon1975 and 76 in Douglas-fir. F1=saplings, F2=mixed sizes, F3=saw timber and # of affected trees. P1-#, P2-#, P3-# Flatheaded woodborer and drought in SW Oregon1975 and 76 in Ponderosa pine. F1=saplings, F2=mixed sizes, F3=saw timber and # of affected trees. It was decided to retain the codes rather than convert them to F-#, the standard woodborer code, and lose the level of detail of the original map observation. This only affects the Rogue River, Siskiyou and Umpqua forests. HISTORIC CODE INTENSITY CONVERSIONS: Beetle occurrence is reported as a number estimating the standing, current, dead trees or trees per acre for a polygon. In the 50's and 60's Light, Moderate, Heavy and Very Heavy were used to report beetle mortality; the conversion factors for intensity to mortality are: -L => -.25A -M => -2A -H => -10A -VH => -20A AB-# and L/M/H Retain both methods of coding for intensity and mortality because of differences in vector infestation. 1) branch infestation causes flagging reported as L/M/H and 2) bole infestation can cause tree mortality which is reported by the number of current dead stems observed during the survey. OLD CODES AND CONVERSIONS: ATK --> BS-2- A 1985 code for Apparent Top Kill 6WB --> 6B- Mountain Pine Beetle, Whitebark Pine 6WW --> 6W- Mountain Pine Beetle Western White Pine DM --> 6W- MPB, W. White Pine, (Dendroctonus monticolae)(MTH-1954) 81 --> 88- Western Pine Beetle, Pole-size Ponderosa Pine B --> BEAR BLOW --> WIND CL --> older than 1981 is currently CH GPM --> GP --> Gouty Pitch Midge H --> HAIL H --> D --> Dying hemlock (Oly 1951-53) 5 --> D --> Dying hemlock (Oly 1954-55)(possibly hemlock engraver as noted in a 1954 annual report) LM --> ML- Larch Budmoth LNC --> RC- Needle cast, Larch LPNC --> LC- Needle cast, Lodgepole pine P --> PL- Port-Orford Cedar Root Disease,Phytopthora lateralis PHL --> PH- Phantom Hemlock Looper W --> WATER W --> WIND ZH --> MD- Douglas-fir Budmoth ZP --> MS- Spruce Budmoth, Zeiraphera Canadensis, coastal Oregon *Historic layers for 55-79 are available for the SW portion of Oregon (all ownerships), and some data is available for the Olympic peninsulain the 1950's.

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    This data is a result of a cooperative effort between USDA Forest Service, Region 6, Forest Health Protection and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Resource Protection, Forest Health.

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Aleksandar Dozic
    WA Department of Natural Resources, Resource Protection Division, Forest Health
    Forest Health Data Steward
    Resource Protection Division
    Olympia, WA 98504-7037

    (360) 902-1320 (voice)
    (360) 902-1757 (FAX)

    Hours_of_Service: 08:00 to 16:30 Pacific time
    Contact_Instructions: Aleksandar Dozic

Why was the data set created?

The Department of Natural Resources uses this data to describe the location and intensity of forest disturbance activity on an annual, statewide level. These data are used for maps and analysis for supression and salvage planning and for historical trends.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    (source 1 of 1)
    USDA Forest Service, Region 6 and WA Department of Natural , Annually from 1980 to present, USDA Forest Service, Region 6 and Washington Department of Natural Resources Forest Insect and Disease Aerial Detection Survey Data..

    Early year surveys (prior to 2001) used paper maps. Current surveys use digital sketch mapping.
    Source_Scale_Denominator: Variable
    USFS Region 6 and Washington DNR Forest Insect and Disease Aerial Detection Survey Data. Hand-drawn polygons.

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    (process 1 of 5)
    Prior to the 2001 data, the survey was recorded in flight by hand drawing on 1:100,000 scale paper maps. After the flight, the two flight observers' maps are combined and overlapping polygons are resolved on a final paper map. The data was then manuscripted, scanned, and attributed. However, the 2001 and subsequent surveys utilize automated sketchmapping systems. These systems, one for each surveyor on opposite sides of the aircraft, consist of lap top computers linked to a GPS receiver and touchscreen pads. Geolink software displays a map image background with the location of the survey aircraft and other critical information accurately geo-referenced on top. The recorded damage information is compatible with ARC protocol and so only fine-tuning of merging the two systems is needed. This new system alleviates tedious and time consuming post processing and consistently allows for more accurate placement of damage polygons. For more information on the sketchmapping system see: <> The recording process has been refined gradually through the years (i.e. in the early years, number of trees killed were not recorded). Coverage Processing Tolerances: Fuzzy = 186.424 and Dangle = 0.0

    (process 2 of 5)
    Metadata imported.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • J:\DSS\Data Administration\Metadata\temporary metadata\bugs-n-crud.xml

    Date: 18-Jan-2011 (process 3 of 5)
    Metadata imported.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • Y:\Database on UNIX\devl\dictionary\metadata\bugcrd_2010.xml

    Date: 19-Jan-2011 (process 4 of 5)
    Metadata imported.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • Y:\Database on UNIX\dictionary\metadata\esri_ropa\ropa.bugcrd.xml

    Date: 29-May-2012 (process 5 of 5)
    Metadata imported.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • \\snarf\database\dictionary\metadata\esri_ropa\LWT_BUGCRD_SV.xml

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    During the aerial survey the goal is to capture 70% correctly identified disturbance within 1/4 mile of it's actual location, but results are variable at best.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    During the aerial survey the goal is to capture 70% correctly identified disturbance within 1/4 mile of it's actual location, but results are variable at best.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?


  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    Variable at best

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

WA ISB, IT Security, Data Category 1 - Public Information (See Secur