In late May, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that the LANDFIRE (Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools) Program was the recipient of the 2017 DOI "Environmental Dream Team" award. The award recognizes the program team as exceptional environmental champions and agents of change. Led by the DOI and the U.S. Forest Service, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, LANDFIRE works across organizations and landscape boundaries to create data products instrumental in environmental compliance work. LANDFIRE’s interagency nature was acknowledged for providing environmental benefits with efficiencies in analyses, costs, and reviews through a comprehensive all-lands national dataset that is updated regularly. LANDFIRE’s products and engagement protocols have transformed land management supporting environmental work.
The LANDFIRE partnership leverages key data and information to support wildland fire and land management. Team members at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center use remote sensing, ground plot data, and ecological modeling to produce the geospatial map layers, which include vegetation, disturbance, and fuel characteristics. LANDFIRE products are closely associated with wildfire management, but their utility extends beyond fire-specific applications to broad natural resource management purposes. The 20+ geospatial map layers and databases created by LANDFIRE serve as an "encyclopedia" of biological and ecological information. These data have been used in a variety of public and private applications since LANDFIRE’s 2010 inaugural data delivery. In 2017 alone, more than 35 specific Federal environmental projects leveraged the publicly available LANDFIRE data.
To earn the “Environmental Dream Team” award, the LANDFIRE team demonstrated that the program designed and implemented a unique approach and produced clear results that could be scaled up to a national level. LANDFIRE’s program managers view the award as a recognition of the hard work, dedication, and commitment to make a suite of consistent and comprehensive products, which are a reliable source of biological and ecological data with a national-scale application.