BLM has issued a National sage grouse policy to ensure environmentally responsible exploration, authorization, leasing and development of energy resources within the range of the Gunnison sage-grouse. To support the Colorado State Office and the Gunnison Field Office, the BLM acquired lidar and airborne digital imagery for approximately 30,000 acres in the Gunnison basin. In 2011 lidar data were acquired at 8 - 10 points per square meter density and used to create highly accurate bare earth elevation models and representations of sagebrush vegetation structure. Also, high resolution, 4-band stereo airborne imagery at a 10 cm resolution was acquired to create very high resolution orthoimagery for the project area. The new imagery and elevation data will be added to the suite of data already available: 1993 to 1995 Landsat TM imagery, 2004 Digital Globe QuickBird, 2004 E01 Advanced Multispectral Land Imager, 2005, 2009, and 2011 NAIP, and the National Elevation Dataset (NED).
Analysis of the lidar-derived elevation products, combined with the 10 cm imagery and the other datasets such as soils, will be used to update the vegetation data layer used by the Gunnison Field Office to plan sage-grouse conservation efforts.
10 cm lidar-derived orthoimagery and hillshade for the Gunnison Basin in Colorado.