Improving Tribal Land Management through Remote Sensing

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In 2015, the USGS program for Technology Training in Support of Native American Relations (TESNAR) sponsored the USGS Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) in providing training to staff of the San Carlos Apache Tribe on land management applications of airborne laser scanning (lidar) and field-based multispectral imaging and monitoring. The 1.8 million-acre San Carlos Apache Reservation in east-central Arizona, the third largest reservation in the U.S. Southwest, encompasses diverse topography and ecology that support a broad array of vegetation types and habitats, from forest and woodland to grassland and desert. The natural resources in these lands are the foundation for the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s economy, which is largely dependent on sustainable forestry and ranching. Effective land management is therefore critical as the Tribe confronts the challenges of persistent drought and climate change, and yet it is exceptionally difficult for such a large land area, particularly with limited personnel and financial resources. As part of an ongoing, decade-long partnership between WGSC, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs' San Carlos Agency, advanced training in land remote sensing is helping the Tribe to meet these challenges.

Author Name
Dennis Dye
Author Email