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Forest Resource Analysis

Forest and Land

Digital image of a stream bank

Program Contact: George Host,, (218) 788-2664

The Forest Resource Analysis Program uses remote sensing, field-based research and landscape modeling to understand the composition, structure, and resource potential of Minnesota forests. We use LiDAR, aerial photography and satellite imagery to characterize the distribution of forest types and wildlife habitat.

We also maintain an active network of field plots, which are used to monitor forest growth and evaluate silvicultural treatments such as early thinning in red pine and aspen forests. These thinning trials have demonstrated improvements in both long-term forest productivity and the efficiency and economics of logging operations.

In addition, we conduct landscape analysis in our GIS laboratory to address issues such as the distribution of native plant communities, fragmentation of the forest landscape, and potential corridors for the spread of invasive species or forest pests and pathogens.

Current Projects

  • Use of LiDAR to assess distribution and biomass of aspen and red pine forests (G. Host)
  • Dynamics of early thinning in red pine plantations (B. Berguson)