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USGS - science for a changing world

Colin Brooks

Comprehensive wetland inventories are an essential tool for wetland management, but developing and maintaining an inventory is expensive and technically challenging. Funding for these efforts has also been problematic. Here we describe a large-area application of a semi-automated processused to update a wetland inventory for east-central Minnesota. The original inventory for this area was the product of a laborintensive, manual photo-interpretation process. The present application incorporated high resolution, multi-spectral imagery from multiple seasons; high resolution elevation data derived from lidar; satellite radar imagery; and other GIS data. Map production combined image segmentation and random forest classification...
Completion of the National Wildlife Inventory has been identified as a top science priority for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes-LCC (UMGL). Some areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin still have not been mapped to NWI standards. Completion of NWI is integral to developing geospatial models based on landscape-level land use. Completion of NWI will also aid in monitoring of wetlands to assess effects of climate change. Funding for this project has been leveraged with several other larger projects to improve digital wetland mapping infrastructure for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This project is targeting a portions of Wisconsin, at least six counties, for digital conversion and updating of Wetland Inventory maps....
In total this project has developed digital wetland inventory and habitat data for ten counties within and around the Great Lakes watershed of Wisconsin. Digital data has now been completed for the following counties: Sawyer, Sauk, Barron, Polk, Langlade, Menominee, Price, Shawano, Taylor, and Winnebago.
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