Volume 11, Issue 4 - Fall 2017
Western Threat Center Highlight: Forest Plan Help is On Deck with FP_DECK
Forest planning documents represent an incredible investment in time and expertise. Each plan is based on an extensive amount of information that has been gathered and synthesized. Once completed, the plan may be posted on the website of its respective national forest or simply printed out and kept on file at the local district office.
Region 2 Regional Forest Planner, John Rupe, wanted a consistent treatment of information in forest plans and a way to archive and search the archives for plan direction. He liked the framework developed for TACCIMO (Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options), an advanced bibliographic, online tool to help incorporate climate change into forest plans. He contacted Eastern Threat Center research ecologist and team leader Steve McNulty and Emrys Treasure, then a Center biological scientist, to help him develop such a tool.
The result: Forest Plan Database Exchange of Current Knowledge (FP_DECK), a national online tool developed collaboratively by the Eastern and Western Threat Centers that functions as Rupe envisioned. The tool has since been populated with forest plans from all U.S. national forests.
FP_DECK allows Forest Service planners and managers to easily search for terms used in the plan directions. National forests also can use FP_DECK to compare versions of their respective plan. With these features, as well as future geospatial mapping capabilities, the ultimate goal of FP_DECK is to improve information exchange, promote management consistency and standardized terminology, and make use of valuable institutional knowledge.
Work continues on the tool. Current content is being checked for accuracy and the database is continually updated as revisions are completed. A keyword system is under development that will eventually allow for much more in depth querying of the database.
For more information, contact Lisa Balduman, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center information specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: The web-based Forest Plan Database Exchange of Current Knowledge (FP_DECK) has intuitive search features, and all forest plans have been entered in the database.