Integrated Landscape Assessment Project



What is the project?

Example broad-scale prioritization  by watershed (Miles Hemstrom)This project created more than fifty jobs to work on the watershed-level prioritization of land management actions based on fuel conditions, wildlife and aquatic habitats, economic values, and projected climate change across all lands in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.  The project explores the dynamics of broad-scale, multi-ownership landscapes over time by evaluating and integrating information about:

  • fuel conditions. The project examines current conditions and assesses how they may develop within climate change scenarios;
  • selected wildlife habitats. The project assesses how fuel treatments might affect key habitats; and
  • potential costs and benefits of management treatments. This includes the economic potential of fuel removal as well as opportunities for new economic development.

Products from the project will help land managers, planners, and policymakers evaluate management strategies that reduce fire risk, improve habitat, and benefit rural communities.

What questions does the project address?

The project integrates data and tools, creating a decision support framework to help planners, managers and policymakers make the best use of available information. The project addresses these main questions:

  • what are the conditions and trends of forest fuels?
  • what are the conditions and trends of selected wildlife habitats?
  • will management activities have economic benefits? Could these activities pay for themselves?
  • which watersheds should managers prioritize for restoration to concurrently reduce critical fuels, improve (or not degrade) wildlife habitat, and have positive economic effects?


Who is involved in the project?

The project is a collaborative effort among scientists, analysts, and writers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Oregon State University College of Forestry, and the Oregon University System Institute for Natural Resources (INR). The project also brings together scientists, land managers, and planners from other state and federal forestry, wildlife, and natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, and universities.


What products does the project create?

Biomass modeling products (Joshua Halofsky)The project creates a variety of analytical and graphical tools that generate tables, graphs, and maps that land managers and planners can use to integrate and prioritize management activities.  The project's reports, publications, models, model output, maps, data, and tools will be archived and available online so that scientists and managers in years to come will be able to use and build on the project's products.  The project will also create a web-enabled decision support system if time and resources permit.



Who will use the information, and how will they use it?

Land managers, planners, analysts, scientists, policymakers, and large-area landowners can use the project’s tools and information for many applications of landscape analysis at the regional, state, and watershed levels. Some potential applications include:

  • watershed restoration strategies;
  • forest plan revisions;
  • landscape conservation strategies; and 
  • statewide assessments and bioregional plans.


How does this project relate to other wildfire risk projects, such as the Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project (LANDFIRE)?

This project evaluates current and future resource conditions across mixed ownerships. It will extend and complement more generalized landscape-level wildfire risk projects, such as LANDFIRE.


How might people use the project’s tools and information in the future?

The data and tools developed for this project can support other types of landscape evaluations that extend beyond a focus on integrated fuel priorities. This collaborative project develops methods that may be used to address other important public issues over large landscapes, such as:

  • rural economic development;
  • carbon market and biomass energy opportunities; and
  • climate change.

ILAP Details

ILAP is structured around two components -- science delivery modules that synthesize existing knowledge and knowledge discovery modules that develop new data and methods.

The Integrated Landscape Assessment Project Overview graphic at right shows the relationship between each of the project modules and organizations. (click to enlarge as a pdf)

overview of ILAP modules

Science Delivery Modules
Science Delivery Module Co-Leads – Jimmy Kagan, INR and Josh Halofsky, WDNR   

The Science Delivery modules are about using existing knowledge and methodologies to inform watershed-level prioritization of fuel treatments in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. The Science Delivery modules include the Geographic Information System (Spatial Data) module, State-and_Transition Modeling (Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT)) module and the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) module. These modules build on and consolidate existing spatial data, models and decision support tools from the Interagency Mapping and Assessment Project (IMAP), USDA Forest Service Region 3 (R3) forest planning work, and LANDFIRE efforts. 

Lead Staff:

Geographic Information System (Spatial Data) Lead – Joe Bernert, INR
State-and-Transition Modeling (VDDT) Lead – Emilie Henderson, INR
Decision Support (EMDS) Lead – Sean Gordon, Oregon State University - College of Forestry (OSU-COF)


Knowledge Discovery Modules
Knowledge Discovery Module Lead – Paul Doescher, OSU-COF

The Knowledge Discovery modules are about developing new knowledge and methodologies to inform watershed-level prioritization of fuel treatments in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. The Knowledge Discovery modules include the Wildlife Habitats module, Fire and Fuels Characterization module, Fuel Treatment Economics module, Community Economics module, Climate Change modules (addressing changes in fire probabilities, water supply, and watershed conditions), and Optimized Decision Support System module. The Knowledge Discovery modules will integrate inputs and outputs from the Science Delivery modules to inform mid- to broad-scale landscape prioritizations of land management actions for use by planners, land managers, and policy-makers.

Lead Staff:

Wildlife Habitats Lead – Anita Morzillo, OSU-COF
Fire and Fuels Characterization Lead – Jessica Halofsky, Forest Service – Pacific NW Research Station (FS-PNW)
Fuel Treatment Economics Lead – Xiaoping Zhou,  FS-PNW
Community Economics Lead – Claire Montgomery, OSU-COF
Climate Change Leads – Jessica Halofsky, FS-PNW, Rebecca Kennedy and Gordie Reeves, FS – Forest Research Lab (FRL), Dominique Bachelet and Dave Conklin (CBI)
Optimized Decision Support System Lead – Michael Wing, OSU-COF

ILAP Glossary


Acronym: Stands for: What it is:
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Az/NM prototype study area for the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project wildlife habitat, fire and fuels, and treatment finances modules.  Multi-ownership landscape in eastern Arizona.
ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ARRA is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009.  The Integrated Landscape Assessment Project is one of many ARRA funded projects.
BPS Biophysical Setting Used by LANDFIRE to represent the vegetation that may have been dominant on the landscape prior to Euro-American settlement and is based on both the current biophysical environment and an approximation of the historical disturbance regime.
CVS Current Vegetation Survey CVS contains plot data analogous to FIA, but is conducted only on US Forest Service lands.  These plots are somewhat older than FIA, as they were discontinued when that program filled the need for plot data describing forest conditions within the USFS.
COLA Central Oregon Landscape Area OR/WA prototype study area for the ARRA fuels project climate change modules.  Multi-ownership landscape in central Oregon.
CWLA Central Washington Landscape Area OR/WA prototype study area for the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project wildlife habitat, community economics, fire and fuels, and treatment finances modules.  Multi-ownership landscape in central Washington.
EMDS Ecosystem Management Decision Support system EMDS is an application framework for knowledge-based decision support of ecological assessments at any geographic scale.  It is designed to help inform managment decisions.
FCCS Fuel Characteristic Classification System FCCS is a software application that allows users to record fuel characteristics as fuelbeds and analyze fire potential of wildland and managed fuels.
FIA Forest Inventory and Analysis Program FIA reports on  status and trends in forest area and location; in the species, size, and health of trees; in total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest;  in wood production and utilization rates by various products; and in forest land ownership.  FIA plot data is used by GNN and FCCS. 
FRCC Fuel Regime Condition Class FRCC is an interagency, standardized tool for determining the degree of departure from reference condition vegetation, fuels and disturbance regimes. Assessing FRCC can help guide management objectives and set priorities for treatments.
FRCS Fuel Reduction Cost Simulator FRCS spreadsheet application is public domain software used to estimate costs for fuel reduction treatments involving removal of trees of mixed sizes in the form of whole trees, logs, or chips from a forest.
FVS Forest Vegetation Simulator FVS is the USDA Forest Service's nationally supported framework for forest growth and yield modeling at the stand level. 
GNN Gradient Nearest Neighbor GNN integrates plot and spatial (GIS) data, including satellite imagery, to map detailed attributes of forest composition and structure across large, multi-ownership regions.  Current vegetation is derived from the GNN raster dataset.
HUC Hydrologic Unit Code National watershed delineation system used by the USGS based on surface hydrologic features. The Integrated Landscape Assessment Project utilizes hydrologic unit code 5 (HUC5).  HUC5's generally represent watersheds between 50,000 and 150,000 acres.
IMAP Interagency Mapping and Assessment Project IMAP builds shared data, models, and analysis tools for broad to fine-scale landscape analysis and planning, and fosters interagency cooperation and collaboration on important landscape management issues.
IMAPUG IMAP User Group IMAPUG provides overall project oversight on the IMAP and the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project for Oregon and Washington.
LANDFIRE Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project LANDFIRE is a multi-partner project producing consistent and comprehensive maps and data describing vegetation, wildland fuel, and fire regimes across the United States.
MRLC Multi-Resolution  Land Characteristics Consortium MRLC Consortium produces four different land-cover databases (LANDFIRE, GAP, C-CAP, NLCD). The mapping efforts are not duplicative: all three use the same basic methods and data, and mapping done in one project supports the other two. The primary source of data for all three mapping efforts is Landsat (TM).
MLRA Major Land Resource Areas MLRAs contain natural resource information for the U.S.  MLRA boundaries are developed from state general soil maps. The MLRA map is designed to be used for national, regional and multi-state resource appraisal, planning and monitoring.
MTBS Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity MTBS is a multi-year project designed to consistently map the burn severity and perimeters of fires across all lands of the United States from 1984 - 2010.
PAG Plant Association Groups PAGs are vegetation types that are nested within the National Vegetation Classification System.  Logically, they are aggregations of the NVC's plant associations, and represent plant associations that fall within similar environments, and may even represent different points along successional trajectories within a given type of vegetation.  This classification system is a work in progress, and may vary somewhat from place to place.  It is more precise than PNV, and can generally be crosswalked to PNV fairly cleanly.
PATH   Newly developed user-interface for VDDT models.  With PATH, a user can run multiple VDDT models at one time.
Potential Natural Vegetation/Potential Vegetation Type/Potential Natural Vegetation Type These terms are used somewhat interchangeablly to refer to a coarse classification of potential vegetation.  Potential vegetation is basically a quasi-climax concept.  A good definition might be that PNV = the vegetation that would result in a given environment (includes soils, climate, natural disturbance regime) in the absence of human intervention.  These types are mapped spatially for our project, and each one is linked with an individual VDDT model.
PVT Potential Vegetation Type PVT's typically represent the climax vegetation for a location given natural succession.  In the VDDT models, PVT's represent growth rates, disturbance regimes, and responses to management.  PVT's are used to link specific locations (i.e. pixels) to a specific VDDT model.
STM State and Transition Models STMs simulate changes in vegetative composition and structure across landscapes under different disturbance regimes and management scenarios.  STM's are composed of a series of boxes (states) and arrows (transitions).  VDDT is the STM software used by the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project.
VDDT Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool  VDDT is a state and transition modeling tool that simulates changes in vegetative composition and structure across a landscape under different disturbance regimes and management scenarios.  VDDT models represent both various states (combo of tree diameters & density, canopy layers, and cover type) and transitions to move between states.  Each VDDT model contains its own set of growth, natural disturbance and management transitions.



Oversight Team

  • Lisa Gaines, Project Co-PI, Institute for Natural Resources
  • Steve Tesch, Project Co-PI, Oregon State University, College of Forestry
  • Miles Hemstrom, Science Lead, Institute for Natural Resources
  • Jamie Barbour, USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station
  • Jimmy Kagan, Institute for Natural Resources
  • Paul Doescher, Oregon State University, College of Forestry
  • Brenda McComb, Oregon State University
  • Jack Triepke, Southwest Lead, US Forest Service Region 3
  • Janine Salwasser, Project Coordinator, Institute for Natural Resources


Project Team Members


  • Alton, Cliff, INR-Portland
  • Arbetan, Paul, U. of NM
  • Bachelet, Dominique, Conservation Biology Inst.
  • Barbour, Jamie, USFS PNW
  • Bernert, Joe, INR-Portland
  • Beyer, Megan, OSU - COF
  • Bisrat, Simon, INR-Portland
  • Brown, Kevin, OSU - COF
  • Burcsu, Theresa, INR-Portland
  • Calkins, Michael, OSU – COF
  • Christopher, Treg, INR-Portland
  • Conklin, David, Conservation Biology Inst.
  • Comeleo, Pam, OSU - COF
  • Crandall, Mindy, OSU - COF
  • Creutzburg, Megan, INR-Portland
  • Csuti, Blair, INR-Portland
  • Dimicelli, Jenny, INR-Portland
  • Doescher, Paul, OSU - COF
  • Donoghue, Ellen, USFS PNW
  • Ekman, Lisa, USFS PNW
  • Gaines, Lisa, INR - OSU
  • Gordon, Sean, R6 USFS
  • Greaves, Heather, OSU – COF
  • Gwozdz, Rich, INR-Portland
  • Halofsky, Josh, WA Dept of Natural Resources
  • Halofsky, Jessica, UW - USFS PNW
  • Harrison, Jane, OSU - COF
  • Hart, Stephanie, UW
  • Hemstrom, Miles, INR-Portland
  • Henderson, Emilie, INR-Portland
  • Higgins, Bruce, Ecosystem Management, Inc.
  • Johnson, Morris, PNW-FERA
  • Kagan, Jimmy, INR-Portland
  • Kennedy, Rebecca, PNW - FSL
  • Kerns, Becky, PNW-FSL
  • Lee, Stephanie, Ecosystem Management, Inc.
  • McComb, Brenda, OSU - COF
  • McCune, Myrica, INR - OSU
  • Menke, Kurt, Ecosystem Management, Inc.
  • Montgomery, Claire, OSU - COF
  • Morzillo, Anita, OSU - COF
  • Muldavin, Esteban, U. of NM
  • Noone, Matt, INR-Portland
  • O'Halloran, Kathy, R6 USFS
  • Polly, Michael, INR-Portland
  • Reeves, Gordie, USFS PNW
  • Salwasser, Janine, INR - OSU
  • Seesholtz, David, USFS PNW
  • Shlisky, Ayn, R6 USFS
  • Tesch, Steve, OSU - COF
  • Tremble, Mike, Ecosystem Management, Inc.
  • Triepke, Jack, R3-USFS
  • Wales, Barbara, USFS PNW
  • Walsh, Kuuipo, INR-Portland
  • Weisz, Reuben, R3-USFS
  • White, Rachel, USFS PNW
  • Wing, Michael, OSU - COF
  • Wise, Lindsay, INR-Portland
  • Zhou, Xiaoping, USFS PNW

ILAP Webinars

The ILAP team, spread across four states, shares information through webinars.  As new projects have been funded to extend the work of ILAP, webinars have been used to communicate the new methodologies and findings to project stakeholders.

Click here for short video introductions to each ILAP module, presented by the lead scientists.

Click on a title below to view the .wmv file in another window.

Overview - July 27, 2010


Miles Hemstrom (USFS PNW-Research Station) provides a conceptual overview of the project, and Janine Salwasser (INR Corvallis)explains project organization and coordination. 44 minutes

Western Landscapes Explorer preview - September 25, 2012


Myrica McCune (INR Corvallis) previews the Western Landscapes Explorer digital library which will provide public access to ILAP data, maps, and project information, as well as other landscape-level programs and collaborative initiatives. 29 minutes

Outreach - May 8, 2012

Lisa Gaines and Janine Salwasser (INR Corvallis) provide an overview of the outreach, including the strategy, feedback received, materials used, and next steps. 42 minutes

Arid Lands Workshop - March 21, 2012

Megan Creutzburg (INR Portland) and other team members provide an overview of the ILAP arid lands data, tools and draft output for Oregon and Washington. 175 minutes

GIS and VDDT Modules Overview - August 24, 2010


GIS and VDDT Modules Output Status - April 26, 2011

Joe Bernert and Emilie Henderson (INR Portland) present an overview and update of the GIS and VDDT modules in the first webinar. 32 minutes. The second webinar features the draft outputs from both modules and includes Bruce Higgins (EMI) presenting on the data compilation work in the Southwest. 55 minutes.

Wildlife Habitat Module - September 28, 2010

Wildlife Module Draft Outputs - July 26, 2011

Wildlife Module Central WA Draft Outputs - July 17, 2012

Anita Morzillo (OSU College of Forestry) provides an overview of the Wildlife module. 33 minutes. The second webinar features a module update and draft outputs for watersheds within Oregon & Washington. 28 minutes. The third webinar features wildlife habitat outputs for Central Washington for two scenarios. 29 minutes.

Fuel Treatment Economic Analysis Module Overview - October 26, 2010

Fuel Treatment Economic Analysis Module Draft Outputs - June 28, 2011

Xiaoping Zhou (USFS PNW Research Station) provides an overview of the Fuel Treatment Economic Analysis module. 29 minutes. The second webinar features an update of her work and the draft outputs for the Central Washington Landscape Area. 32 minutes.

Fuel Characteristics Module - November 23, 2010

Fuel Characteristics Module Draft Outputs - December 14, 2011

Fuel Characteristics Module Eastern OR/WA Draft Outputs - June 12, 2012

Jessica Halofsky and Stephanie Hart (University of Washington) provide an overview of the Fuel Characteristics module with a presentation on "Simulating Fire Hazard Across Landscapes Through Time: Integrating the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool and Fuel Characteristic Classification System." 23 minutes. The second webinar features an update of their work and the draft outputs for the Central Washington Landscape Area. 33 minutes (FF first 2 min.) The third webinar features an assessment of forest fire hazard in Eastern Oregon and Washington. 33 minutes.

Community Economics Module - January 25, 2011

Community Economics Module Draft NW Outputs - January 10, 2012

Claire Montgomery (OSU College of Forestry) presents an overview of the Community Economics module. 30 minutes. The second webinar features an update of their work and the draft outputs for Oregon and Washington. 40 minutes.

Climate Change and Vegetation Module - February 22, 2011

Climate Change and Vegetation Module Outputs - October 16, 2012

Dominique Batchelet (Conservation Biology Institute) presents an overview of this Climate Change module which addresses Northwest and Southwest climate change impacts on water supplies, vegetation, and other resource conditions over time. 58 minutes. The second webinar focuses on the MC1 outputs for Washington, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico using an A2 emissions scenario for CSIRO, MIROC, and Hadley models. 43 minutes.

Watersheds and Climate Change Module - March 29, 2011

Gordie Reeves (USFS PNW Research Station) presents an overview of this second Climate Change module which addresses climate change impacts on Northwest watersheds using NetMap, a watershed catalogue and analysis tool. 36 minutes

Fire Probabilities and Climate Change Module - May 24, 2011

Heather Greaves (OSU College of Forestry) presents an overview of this third Climate Change module which addresses climate change impacts on fire probabilities and vegetation in Central Oregon based on the spatial modeling of dry forest dynamics. 20 minutes

Decision Support Modules - December 21, 2010

Sean Gordon (US Forest Service, Region 6) explains Ecosystem Management Decision Support System, and Michael Wing (OSU College of Forestry) explains Optimized Decision Support within the Decision Support modules. 54 minutes

EMDS Decision Support - March 15, 2012

Sean Gordon (OSU College of Forestry) provides an update with draft NW outputs using EMDS and ILAP outputs from other modules. 40 minutes

CMH Coastal Washington kick-off project - January 15, 2013

CMH Coastal Washington close-out - March 18, 2014

In the kick-off and close-out Climate, Management, and Habitat (CMH) Coastal Washington project webinars, Jessica Halofsky (INR) provides an overview to stakeholders of a project funded by the NW Climate Science Center (NWCSC) and the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources that uses climate-smart state and transition models to address climate change, local land management and future Northern Spotted Owl habitat. 110 minutes and 60 minutes

CMH Southeastern Oregon kick-off project - March 7, 2013

CMH Southeastern Oregon close-out - January 28, 2015

In the kick-off and close-out CMH Southeastern Oregon project webinars, Megan Creutzburg (INR Portland) provides an overview of a project also funded by NWCSC, that uses climate-smart state and transition models to address climate change, local land management and future Greater Sage Grouse habitat. 60 minutes and 76 minutes