Port Blakely Tree Farms - five years of LiDAR inventory (a practitioner’s perspective)

Authors: Aaron Gunn
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2020, Issue N.Z.J.For. 65(4) 2021, pp 3-5, Jan 2021
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Port Blakely has been using LiDAR for inventory purposes since 2015 and this technology has now become the company’s primary option for forest inventory. Although there have been challenges to implementing this technology, the benefits have been found to far outweigh these, including being a game changer for harvest reconciliations. The company has undertaken five LiDAR inventory projects to date with future capture and recapture plans in place. The precision of the LiDAR inventory projects has been found to be comparable to, if not better, than traditional mid-rotation and pre-harvest inventory estimates. LiDAR inventory projects also provide benefits, such as numerous GIS spatial surfaces that aid forest management and information that can assist with future growth modelling and site classification purposes. This technology has an exciting future and the process of completing LiDAR imputation projects is constantly developing and evolving.