Trade Analysis & Land Use Change

INR is helping with an economic analysis of Oregon forest market trade and dynamics and working on correcting/modernizing and updating development zone land use data.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, collects and maintains geospatial data on long-term land use change in Oregon and Washington, with updates occurring every four to five years. This project is known as the "Development Zone" project. Based upon interpretation of aerial imagery, statewide land use polygons (assigning all lands to one of eight land use classes) are edited, and structure counts are updated within 80-acre buffers surrounding sample points on the landscape. The sample design is based upon the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program sample grid. This sample-based methodology utilizing human interpretation of imagery allows for a consistent assessment of land use change in both states since the 1970s, even as imaging sources and technology have changed. The most recent Development Zone data updates were completed based upon 2018 aerial imagery in Oregon and 2017 aerial imagery in Washington.

Over time, some minor but systematic errors and discrepancies have been identified in the existing Development Zone geospatial data. These issues do not impact the final project outputs regarding quantification of land use change, and therefore have not previously been considered essential to resolve. However, they limit the broader applicability of the project's spatial datasets and complicate the data update process. Therefore, in order to modernize and simplify the Development Zone databases prior to the next scheduled update, a GIS specialist is needed to resolve these outstanding issues.