Q: How is The Nature Conservancy (TNC) involved in LANDFIRE?
Q: What is the connection between LANDFIRE and Landsat satellite imagery?
The Landsat program produces imagery that is the foundation for LANDFIRE's vegetation and disturbance data layers. The development of detailed vegetation maps are an essential component of LANDFIRE.
Q: How do I cite LANDFIRE data products?
|What do you want to cite?||Model||Example|
Homepage title. (Last update).
[Homepage of], [Online].
Available: URL [Access date].
|LANDFIRE. (2013, January - last update).
[Homepage of the LANDFIRE Project, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service;
U.S. Department of Interior], [Online].
Available: http://www.landfire.gov/index.php [2013, February 8].
spatial data products
| Homepage title: Data product. |
(Last update). Agency. [Online].
Available: URL [Access date].
| LANDFIRE: LANDFIRE Existing Vegetation Type layer.
(2013, June - last update). U.S.
Department of Interior, Geological Survey, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
https://www.landfire.gov/viewer/ [2013,May 8].
non-spatial data products
| Homepage title: Data Product. |
(Last update). [Homepage of],
[Online]. Available: URL [Access date].
| LANDFIRE: LANDFIRE Vegetation
Dynamics Models. (2013, June - last
update). [Homepage of the LANDFIRE
Project, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service; U.S. Department of Interior],
http://www.landfire.gov/index.php [2013, May 8].
Q: At what scale should LANDFIRE data be used?
LANDFIRE products were designed to support national, regional, and sub-regional analysis activities.
Q: What map projection do I need to do a fire analysis?
Our suggestion is to consider your intended use. LF native projection, USA Contiguous Albers Equal Area Conic (NAD_1983_CONUS_Albers or NAD_1983_Alaska_Albers), is perfect for larger area analysis, such as multiple states, etc. However, when doing any other types of analysis, such as local analysis, one may need to adapt LF products. If you are using software applications like FlamMap or FARSITE, it is best to reproject the products and use a north up projection, such as Best-FIT UTM (NAD83). If data are not reprojected to a north up projection, models could produce unexpected results. It's good practice to understand the map projection characteristics of the products and, when necessary, reproject them to best fit your needs. LF viewer download options allow you to choose NAD 1983 Albers (Standard Projection) or Best-Fit UTM (NAD83 Datum).
Q: LANDFIRE data are in what projection?
Q: Why am I unable to select ArcGrid when downloading data in the new LF Viewer?
With the release of the new viewer, ArcGrid, LFDAT, and Non-ESRI scripting (data access ESRI tools and formats) were archived. LF is changing technology to move with the industry towards GeoTIFF. As a result, ArcGrid will no longer be supported as we move technologies to Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards.
Q: Why am I unable to view Hawaii data using Web Coverage Service (WCS)?
Hawaii is the only extent that the provided WCS URLs will only work with ESRI tools as the data is projected in ESRI 102007. QGIS and other non-ESRI products, will be unable to use the WCS URLs to view the Hawaii LF data.
Q: Is VCC the same as FRCC?
Vegetation Condition Class (VCC) and Vegetation Departure (VDEP) are the same data that was previously called Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) and Fire Regime Departure Index (DEP). According to the FRCC Guidebook, FRCC is a combination of vegetation departure and fire frequency and severity departure. The layers previously referred to as Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) and Fire Regime Departure Index (DEP) were measures of vegetation departure, hence the name change.
Q: How are reference conditions generated?
Reference conditions for LF 2001 and LF 2008 used the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT). Reference conditions for LF c2001 were generated using LANDSUM.
Q: What summary units are used in VCC?
Summary units for LF 2001 and LF 2008 used hydrologic unit codes (HUCs 8, 10, 12) depending on the fire regime group. Summary units for LF c2001 used ECOMAP subsections and map zones.
Q: Why did the layer name change from FRCC to VCC?
According to the FRCC Guidebook, FRCC is a combination of vegetation departure and fire frequency and severity departure. The layers previously referred to as Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) and Fire Regime Departure Index (DEP) were measures of vegetation departure, hence the name change.
Q: Why do the forest canopy maps have values of zero in some places?
Q: In what units are LANDFIRE Canopy Base Height (CBH) and Canopy Bulk Density (CBD) measured?
Q: Why are there odd lines in the canopy fuel data?
Note that these lines exist in the Existing Vegetation Type layer as well. These lines result form radiometric oddities in the satellite imagery used to create these layers. This phenomenon generally occurs on the seam where two satellite overpasses from different dates were mosaicked to produce a seamless coverage of each zone. Since satellite imagery serves as a predictor of canopy base height (CBH) and canopy bulk density (CBD), the lines are "stamped" onto the resulting CBH and CBD layers.
Q: Why are all hardwood existing vegetation types coded with a canopy base height of 10 meters (raster value of 100 meters * 10)?
Q: How is canopy base height and canopy bulk density calculated in LANDFIRE?
Q: How are the LANDFIRE fire behavior fuel model maps created?
We create rule sets based on existing vegetation type, existing vegetation cover, existing vegetation height, and environmental site potential. We assign a fire behavior fuel model to each rule set and then engage local experts to review and calibrate the rules and resulting maps. Full descriptions of the LANDFIRE fire behavior fuel model products can be found in the Fuel Data Products Overview.
Q: How do rule changes affect neighboring zones?
Rules must be nationally consistent; therefore, if one rule for one existing vegetation type (EVT) is changed, then the change affects that EVT in all zones. However, some types behave distinctly differently due to local variation, and this information would be reflected in the resultant map. This type of local variability is determined through expert opinions garnered from LANDFIRE calibration workshops.
Q: Why aren't there slash models (FBFMs 11, 12, 13) in regions with abundant slash?
Q: Will the LF Remap data be released all at once?
Q: What will be different with Vegetation for LF Remap?
From a very high level there are minimal changes with Existing Vegetation Type (EVT). EVT for LF Remap uses Ecological Systems Classification System and was created using Landsat imagery, the LF LFRDB, as well as other geospatial inputs and classification trees. One of the more significant changes is with Existing Vegetation Height and Existing Vegetation Cover. Those products are now continuous data vs. binned into categories as before.
For LF Remap's Biophysical Settings, Mean Fire Return Interval, Percent of Low-severity Fire, Percent of Mixed-severity Fire, Percent of Replacement-severity Fire, and Fire Regime Groups are now attributes of this product.
A new product is the National Vegetation Classification which represents the current distribution of vegetation groups within the U.S. National Vegetation Classification circa 2016.
Q: What year will LF Remap represent?
LF Remap's comprehensive vegetation and fuels mapping reflects circa 2016 ground conditions. As part LF Remap, disturbances on the landscape were mapped for the years 2015 and 2016.
Q: What are the imagery dates for LF Remap?
LF Remap mapping efforts use 2013 - 2017 imagery. Priority was given to imagery from 2016.
Q: With the release of the new LF Viewer, where did the LANDFIRE Data Access Tool (LFDAT) go?
Q. Was there a change in streaming LF data?
Yes. With the release of LF's new viewer in late March 2022, LF data access with ArcGRID, LFDAT, and Non-ESRI scripting was archived. However, the LF Program developed a new method to access its products called the LF Product Service (LFPS). LFPS is a RESTful Application Programming Interface (API) that allows users to request and download a LF products file, an output file incorporating the requested product layers via a multiband raster, through an API using HTTPS requests. Features of the LFPS include:
Q. How can I access the LFPS?
The LFPS can be accessed in several ways:
Q: What do the LFTFC professionals do in areas that have multiple disturbances over the 10-year period, such as a harvest, then a pile treatment, and then a pile burn treatment in consecutive years?
The LF Program realizes there is time between when a mechanical remove disturbance happens and when the activity fuels from it are treated, but LF assumes that activity fuels are being treated shortly after. This is what LF uses for multiple entries, in this order:
It would be ideal to be able to track every activity through its full progression, but there is not a good way for LF to do that for all the U.S. in a timely manner. In addition, private landowners typically do not report disturbance activities and some areas in the U.S. treat activity fuels differently, such as reducing the fuel bed depth and having high rates of decomposition to take care of them in a timely manner. It is easier when the LF team remotely detects disturbances to assume the activity fuels are being treated appropriately according to regulations.
Q: We are having a hard time working with the Master_CMB as a lookup due to the size. I know it's typical to work in ArcGIS when using the Master_CMB table, but was wondering if there are any tips or tricks we should know about when trying to query from that table?
LF breaks the table down into zones which makes it a little easier to deal with. In the LFTFC toolbar it makes the management unit GRID of the zone/area of interest then copies the attribute table to the database and that is the _cmb table for that area. The rulesets table assigns the fuels to the appropriate fields in the _cmb then the table is joined back to the GRID, where LFTFC does a lookup function on the fuel field the user is interested in, for a GRID product.
Q: What types of data are needed for LANDFIRE updates?
We need data that can be used to update LANDFIRE data layers, and data that could be used to remedy known concerns with previous versions. In a nutshell, we need Event data on any recent (current update cycle) disturbances or vegetation/fuel treatments that would have altered the composition or structure of vegetation and/or fuel. In addition to Event data, LANDFIRE also benefits from point or polygon vegetation or fuel plot data which may be incorporated in the LANDFIRE Reference Database (LFRDB).
Q: When do you need the data?
LANDFIRE collects and welcomes submitted data on an annual basis throughout the year but has a data submission deadline of March 31 of each year. Data submitted before March 31 will be evaluated for inclusion into the appropriate LANDFIRE update cycle. Submissions after March 31 will be considered in subsequent updates.
Q: In what format do you need the data?
We will accept Event data (disturbance and vegetation/fuel treatment data) in various formats, including ESRI shapefiles, geodatabases, and ArcInfo coverages. Supporting information, including definitions of the fields and any codes in the data tables, should accompany the data to ensure that they can be interpreted correctly. If you have LFRDB data (vegetation and/or fuel plot data) to share, we're even more flexible in terms of data format. We'll gladly accept digital data in, text files, spreadsheets, relational databases, ESRI shapefiles or geodatabases, and ArcInfo coverages - whichever is most convenient for the contributor. Coordinate information, including map datum, can be bundled with the other attribute information or in a separate, linked file, or data form. Supporting information, including definitions of the fields and any codes in the data tables or data-entry forms, should accompany the data to ensure that they are accurately represented in the LANDFIRE reference database.
Q: What is the purpose of LANDFIRE updates?
An update program is vital to support the full spectrum of fire and natural resource management programs with timely and quality products that reflect recent changes in landscape conditions. The LANDFIRE updates focus on landscape changes to vegetation and fuels resulting from disturbance and treatment activities such as wildland fire, fuel and vegetation treatments, mortality from insects and disease, storm damage, invasive plants, and other natural or anthropogenic events. Areas of concern will be improved through the LANDFIRE update process, and the existing layers will be updated to reflect more current conditions.
Q: How do we submit data to LANDFIRE and who should we contact if we have questions?
If you have questions or would like to submit data please contact Brenda Lundberg, LANDFIRE Reference Data Administrator. You may email datasets smaller than 25MB to email@example.com. If the files are too large to send via email please contact Brenda Lundberg for alternative file transfer options.
Q: We have submitted similar information to a web-based data clearing house such as the NPS Data Store or an agency/corporate database system such as USFS-FACTS (Forest Service Activity Tracking System). Why don't you simply download the information you need from those existing websites or agency databases?
LANDFIRE does draw data from several web based data clearing houses including the NPS Data Store, USGS/NPS Vegetation Characterization Website, and USFS Regional Data Clearing houses. LANDFIRE also acquires data from agency/corporate database systems such as USFS FACTS (Forest Service Activity Tracking System) and USFS NRIS (Natural Resource Information System). The Website Agency DB Table provides a complete list of websites or agency database systems from which LANDFIRE draws data. For a copy of the Website Agency DB Table please visit http://www.landfire.gov/participate_refdata_sub.php. If you store data on one of the websites or agency databases listed in this table, please verify that a current version of your data are posted to ensure that this data will be evaluated for use in the next LANDFIRE update cycle.
For more information refer to LANDFIRE Data Draw Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does LANDFIRE use VDDT?
Although other quantitative state-and-transition models exist, VDDT (Beukema and others 2003) was selected as the model of choice for nationally consistent fire and fuel projects because it is:
Beukema, S.J.; Kurz, W. A.; Pinkham, C.B.; Milosheva, K.; Frid, L. 2003. Vegetation Dynamics development tool, User.s Guide, Version 4.4c. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC. 239 p. [Online.] Available: www.essa.com/vddt.
Keane, R.E.; Parsons, R.; Hessburg, P. 2002. Estimating historical range and variation of landscape patch dynamics: limitations of the simulation approach. Ecological Modeling. 151: 29-49.
Q: What is VDDT?
Q: How is the accuracy of LANDFIRE vegetation data assessed?
Learn more about Data Product Quality.
Q: What if we have an existing regional classification that we like better?
Q: What are the satellite imagery dates for the existing vegetation products?
LANDFIRE National (LF c2001) existing vegetation products portray vegetation composition and structure conditions circa 2001. The time period is determined by the average date of Landsat satellite imagery acquisition used for the original mapping, which occurred from 2000 to 2002. Subsequent versions (LF 2001, LF 2008, LF 2010, LF 2012, and LF 2014) used National as a starting point for data processing. Disturbances mapped in updated versions beyond National used imagery from 1999-2014 where the imagery year corresponds to the disturbance year.
Q: What are the LANDFIRE design criteria for developing vegetation map units?
LANDFIRE vegetation map units must be:
Identifiable - Vegetation map units must be able to be keyed from the LANDFIRE reference database, which is a field-referenced database made up of a compilation of existing government and non-government inventory databases. Additionally, all map units must adhere to standard federal terminology used in vegetation map unit classifications and descriptions of vegetation map units.
Scalable - Vegetation map units must be hierarchical with regard to floristic and spatial scale. The aggregation and division of map units must be straightforward. The LANDFIRE map units must tier, where possible, to the physiognomic and floristic hierarchy detailed in the Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) Vegetation Classification Standard (FGDC 1997) and other documents describing national vegetation map unit classifications (Eyre 1980; Shiflet 1994; Grossman and others 1998; Comer and others 2003; Brohman and Bryant 2005).
Mappable - Vegetation map units must be capable of being accurately portrayed geospatially as discrete entities and as attributes in geospatial databases. Field-referenced data used to develop training databases must have adequate vegetation information to distinguish vegetation map units. These map units must be congruent with approaches that integrate Landsat-based remote sensing and machine-learning techniques with biophysical gradient modeling for mapping vegetation across broad areas.
Model-able - Vegetation map units must be logically consistent with the framework of the landscape fire succession models critical for simulating historical fire regimes and vegetation.
Brohman, R.; Bryant, L. eds.2005. Existing vegetation classification and mapping technical guide. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-67. Washington, DC: U.S., Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff. 305 pp.
Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, M. Pyne, M. Reid, K. Schulz, K. Snow, and J. Teague. 2003. Ecological Systems of the United States: A Working Classification of U.S. Terrestrial Systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. 75 p.
Eyre, F. H. E. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington DC., USA.
Grossman, D. H., D. Faber-Langendoen, A.S. Weakley, M. Anderson, P. Bourgeron, R. Crawford, K. Goodin, S. Landaal, K. Metzler, K. Patterson, M. Pyne, M. Reid, and L. Sneddon. 1998. International classification of ecological communities: Terrestrial vegetation of the United States Volume I. The National Vegetation Classification System: development, status, and applications. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington VA., USA.
Shiflet, T. N. E. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO, USA: Society of Range Management. 151 p.
Q: Does the sensor problem with Landsat 7 affect LANDFIRE mapping?
|5||1999 - 2008|
|5 and 7||2009 - 2010|
Q: Why is mapping existing vegetation necessary?
Q: What is potential vegetation (PV) and what time periods do the potential vegetation layers represent?
PV is the vegetation capable of existing given the biophysical characteristics of a site. PV integrates current regional climate and physical site characteristics.
LANDFIRE characterizes PV in two ways: