The Canadian Forest Service is a leader in the development of a range of forest inventory tools for a broad array of applications.
The National Forest Inventory, a collaborative effort between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, compiles detailed information for each of Canada’s forested ecozones. The Canadian Forest Service maintains a national database and leads data analysis and reporting. The provinces and territories collect the data, including tree ages, volume of wood, dominant species and land use, using consistent standards and procedures.
Canadian Forest Service scientists have been pioneers in the use of earth observation technologies for gathering forest information to support the work of both the Canadian Forest Service and the forest sector. Earth observation data are improving forest assessment and monitoring, allowing the assessment at multiple scales of climate and factors influencing forest systems. Earth observation data are of particular value in fulfilling Canada’s national and international reporting requirements and supporting a number of information needs on Canada's forests.
Researchers at the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, in partnership with provincial governments, universities and forest companies, are developing forest inventory tools and techniques to improve predictions of volume and value in Canada’s forests. These approaches combine ecological knowledge with leading-edge technologies such as aerial and terrestrial LiDAR, high-resolution digital imagery and statistical modeling capability. Increasing the accuracy and usefulness of predictions of the stand, tree and fibre attributes can in turn increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of mill processes.