Identifying Tree Mortality

Severe pest and drought-driven mortality have taken a dramatic toll on the forests of the Sierras and in forests across the American West.

Over 100 million trees have died in the past 20 years to pests and drought, exacerbating current environmental stresses the forest, which are expected to lead to increased wildfire risk. A preventative, targeted approach to dead tree removal could reduce the potential economic and environmental costs of these increasingly severe wildfires.

But firefighters and forest managers have to focus on fighting fires today, limiting opportunities to take precautionary measures. A new approach to mortality mapping based on targeted, actionable & accessible data will be required to transform forest management in this arena.

By improving how we map and monitor tree mortality, we seek to improve sustainable harvesting practices and reduce future wildfire risk across the state of California. Soon, we plan to scale our mapping operations elsewhere.

This project is funded by the USDA's Small Business Innovation and Research program. Read more about the origin of this project or about our field work. If you're interesting in learning more about our mortality mapping system, or need maps for your organization, get in touch.