Data Management and Access
In this section, you will find information pertaining to Vegetation Resources Inventory (VRI) data, such as data dictionary, data models, and standards. Also available for download is ground and spatial ready data, which is updated annually.
2016 Annual Forest Inventory Release
The 2016 forest inventory release reflects a number of changes to the forest inventory to account for the large natural losses due to the mountain pine beetle (MPB) and for wildfires since 2007. It also reflects the integration of a LiDAR project on northern Vancouver Island to improve the estimates of stand height and a Landscape Vegetation Inventory in the Cariboo.
The document below provides in-depth details of the methodology used for the adjustment made to the provincial forest cover for the 2015. The 2016 release provides an update for annual growth to the data released as the 2015 Annual Forest Inventory.
- Adjusting the Forest Cover to Reflect Mountain Pine Beetle Impacts, Fires and LiDAR Data Acquisition (PDF)
The methodology used to account for the MPB changes to the inventory for the past five years had been accomplished by projecting the inventory attributes, calculating volume and then depleting the projected inventory volume by the MPB predicted mortality. This process is documented in the document below. This methodology required a great deal of manual intervention and changes to stand structure were only reflected in the forest tree volumes and stand density and not to the stand species composition, basal area, or other stand attributes.
The 2016 projection is an update for annual growth on the 2015 inventory (released December 2016) With both releases government implemented some infrastructure changes to the operational database (VRIMS) and projection model (VDYP7) to accommodate the changes for the MBP impacts. First a new layer ‘D’ or dead layer was created in the VRIMS operational database. This uses the same data model as is used for new inventories to be able to keep track of dead trees in inventory stands. Changes to the natural stand projection tool VDYP7 were done to allow the calculation of the stand volume for the live and dead layers.
The forest inventory release includes our standard data product as well as a few new products as described below:
VEG_COMP_LYR_R1_POLY (our standard product): provides the estimates of forest inventory for the rank 1 tree layer. This is the workhouse dataset for almost all analysis and it has the total dead volume for the polygon identified in the attribution as well as the attribution for the dominant (Rank 1) stand composition.
VEG_COMP_VDYP7_INPUT_POLY_AND_LAYER (NEW) provided estimates for the projection and creation of yield tables using the latest version of VDYP.
The VEG_COMP_POLY and the VEG_COMP_LAYER: are new table products that will provide analysts with the spatial forest cover estimates for all layers identified including the Dead layer ( Layer_D). This provides more information for the stands following the MPB outbreak, other stands with a significant dead component from other causes, and other live tree layers that were not provided to the public previously requires the use of a one to many join to the polygon for analysis.
This release of the Forest Inventory differs from the 2014 Forest Inventory to reflect changes in growing stock of the forests, in areas updated for harvest and fire and for attribute adjustments to account for the MPB. The overall impact of these changes and the change in methodology for MPB results in an increase to live stand volume of 215 million m3 and a reduction to dead stand volume of 272 million m3 for a net total volume reduction of 64 million m3 or 0.6% of the total volume.
Adjusting the Provincial Forest Inventory to Reflect Mountain Pine Beetle Impacts, Fires and LiDAR Data Acquisition in the 2015 Annual Forest Inventory Release
The 2015 Forest Inventory release reflects a number of changes to the forest inventory to account for the large natural losses due to the mountain pine beetle (MPB) and for wildfires since 2007. It also reflects the integration of a LiDAR project on northern Vancouver Island to improve the estimates of stand height and a Landscape Vegetation Inventory in the Cariboo. Below is in-depth details of the methodology used for the adjustment made to the provincial forest cover for the 2015.
The provincial forest inventory is a strategic level photo estimates inventory that is maintained in an operational database in a system known as VRIMS (Vegetation Resource Inventory Management System). This operational database is updated for disturbances, projected for annual growth and subjected to a number of data quality assurance processes. Annually the data is ‘published’ from this operational database to DATA BC to be available for resource management decisions by government, industry, and the public.
The methodology used to account for the MPB changes to the inventory for the past 5 years had been accomplished by projecting the inventory attributes, calculating volume and then depleting the projected inventory volume by the MPB predicted mortality. This methodology required a great deal of manual intervention and changes to stand structure were only reflected in the forest tree volumes and stand density and not to the stand species composition, basal area, or other stand attributes.
Forest Analysis and Inventory Branch is pleased to let you know that the Forest Inventory data that you downloaded from the DataBC Distribution Service, or viewed through internet mapping applications such as IMAP or Mapview over the past year, had been updated. The updated version of the provincial forest inventory is now posted and available for download.
The provincial forest inventory contains 5.2 million polygons. Changes to the inventory in this release include:
- The attributes of all forested polygons updated to reflect stand growth current to 2014
- The integration of approximately 390 map sheets (5 million hectares) of new VRI photo-interpretation
- The update of approximately 18,000 openings to reflect harvesting and silviculture activities (Depletions and Regeneration submissions) reported through RESULTS (including the addition of some older openings which had previously not been updated)
- The update of approximately 10,000 free-growing openings (primarily in the Merritt, Lillooet, and South Okanagan TSAs). Free-growing updates for many additional TSAs will be included in the next release of the Veg_Comp_Lyr_R1_poly in November 2016
- The application of volume reductions to approximately 970,000 polygons (15 million hectares) to account for tree mortality due to the mountain pine beetle.
The DataBC Distribution Service offers the provincial forest cover as a configurable product allowing the user to select an area of interest based on map sheets or user defines shapes and as a prepackaged product allowing the user to download the entire province as a single file geo-database. To reduce load on the distribution service we suggest using the packaged product if you need to download a significant amount of the province. You can use this link to access the packaged product or select your area of interest using the custom download:
A description of changes to the inventory to reflect mountain pine beetle losses and biomass estimates
The error reported in April 2014 in regards to 2013 VRI Veg Comp Polygon Rank 1 Layer label has been fixed.
There are two errors in the current 2013 VRI Veg comp polygon rank 1 layer:
- The attribute Earliest_nonlogging_dist_type where it is populated with only one value – either a Null or IBM. The correct version will have various values
- The error above has affected the Line_7_Activity_Hist_Symbol & Line_7B_Disturbance_History
This error is currently being fixed.
We are once again pleased to announce the release of the 2013 provincial forest cover data Vegetation Resources Inventory (VRI) and apologise for the delay in releasing this information.
The VRI data is now available in the BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW), in Internet mapping applications such as MapView or IMap, and from the Distribution Service.
Please let us know if you encounter any difficulties using this information or if you find any data errors or omissions.
The consolidated cutblock layer can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/external/!publish/consolidated_cutblocks/
Please be aware that this layer will be updated annually to maintain its currency.