Joint Band Meeting
January 8 – 11, 2002
January 8, 2002
Issues for discussion by DAB during for JBM
1. To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the field data collection, which
includes the elimination of redundant data. This issue will be discussed with all
2. Discuss the change proposal from the IA’s for P3. This item will be discussed with
3. Initiate discussions regarding version 2.0 changes to the field guide.
4. Pretraining and Training Lesson Plans for each P3 Indicator for the 2002 field season
training sessions. This item will be discussed with the IA’s at the session.
SB and DAB Session
Two discussion items -
1. Improve efficiency on measuring plots
2. Mapping on subplots
Candidate measurements/situations for improved efficiencies:
What procedures exist/can be used for plots with a large of amount of tally, such as a “dog-hair”
thicket? How many plots have this large amount of tally situation?
Whatever procedure is selected needs to be consistent Nationally w/unbiased procedures. Other
options – Sub-sample on plots, drop measurements, limit amount of time for core variables,
and/or estimate some variables.
Another component of extra time on plot is the number of regional “add-on” variables
implemented by each unit on their plot data collection.
Action: Do analysis of the number of trees tallied by plot/condition class.
Action: Need some level of time study on plot. Although there was some disagreement
the consensus was to try to limit time on plot to 4-6 hours.
Action: One step may be to do a variable ranking by importance of the information to
determine which variables can be dropped.
Action: DAB will evaluate the number of regional variables in each regional manual.
Mapping on subplots:
What are the specific technical issues? These have not been clearly defined. The issues as
1. Need to have clear and distinct boundary definitions in the field guide.
2. Consistency is a major component that is also training issue.
3. Processing problem with multiple condition class plots.
4. Procedures need to be clarified and possibly differ when multiple conditions are either
Forest/Non-Forest or Forest/Forest on a plot.
Action: The DAB will address the first two issues during the development of version 2.0 of
the National Field Guide and through our work with develop of a National Core P2 training
DAB and IA
Two discussion items:
1. P3 Change proposal
2. Training and Pretraining plans for FY02
P3 Change Proposal:
All were accepted without modification except the following three proposals with have the
following modifications suggested.
No. 10 Lichens – Please define late-successional in clearer terms.
No. 11 Lichens – If the plot is measured for P2 then sampled for lichens, if part of plot is
no access/permission denied (forested conditions only) then the crews will only sample
the part with permission. There is an ownership permission component to this issue.
Generally since little if no sampling or measurement occurs on the non-forest portions of
the plot, crews generally the crews do not identify ownership on non-forest portions of
the plot. As a result permission on the non-forest portions of the subplot is not requested.
No. 27 Vegetation – Allow for some flexibility on the +/- 2-week window. This is a
target but allow for flexibility. Actually this is only a QA issue until we remeasure a
vegetation plot (3 years in the future). Revisit the issue for 2.0 in terms of phenology and
Additional change from DWD (subsequently numbered 33)
Change from the original 2 transects (60’ each)/subplot for 480’ total to 3 transects (24’
each)/subplot for a total of 288’. DAB agreed with this proposal with one concern noted:
this change adds more activity at PC. Needs to go through the change process. Hope that
this can be implemented in FY02.
Some of the ozone changes (primarily terminology) are not part of the proposal. These decisions
were “grand fathered” because of FIA Mgt. Team 11/27/01 decision.
Training and Pretraining plans for FY02:
Is this needed? Yes! How to proceed?
Action: In order to plan accordingly the following questions need to be addressed
IA’s need to:
1. Expectations for pretraining.
2. Length of session needed.
3. Attendee qualifications.
4. Certification included?
5. Need to be regional?
Regions need to:
1. How many sessions will be held?
2. Date of sessions.
3. How many trainees will be trained for each session?
4. Number of trainers for each indicator.
5. Are trainers going to train more than 1 indicator?
6. Which indicators are going to be trained at each session?
7. How much experience do the trainers have with each indicator?
Action: DAB and IA will meet jointly on Thursday from 3:00 – 5:00 pm to deal with the
January 9, 2002
AB and DAB
1. Mapping/Condition Class Delineation
3. Tree Species List and Coding
4. Previously submitted change proposals from AB
Mapping/Condition Class Delineation:
Original problem (prior to condition class delineation) was the mixing types. The actual solution
– may have created more problems/made more complex than the original problem dictated.
Need to clarify that this is a condition class delineation issue not mapping. See notes from SB
and DAB session.
Each band is working on it and has assigned an individual to participate. No need currently for
coordination between AB and DAB.
Tree Species List and Coding:
Possibly build in PLANTS code in help screens as training tool? The problem with PLANTS is
that it changes yearly and this is a key variable.
Tree species list needs to accommodate PR, VI, So. FL, and HI species that are extensive. Build
in E/W designation?
Long-term activity is tree vs. shrub designation. This will be resolved after version 2.0
Action: DAB will update Appendix 4 in the National Field Guide as starting point, based
on 11/2000 AB list. Revisit PLANTS code.
Note: See notes from IM session on Thursday.
Previously submitted change proposals from AB:
These were submitted and discussed at the 2001 JBM. Some modifications were discussed
between the bands last year. These proposals were “lost” in the “lockdown”.
Action: AB will resubmit via the Change process.
DAB and Mgt. Team
Version 2.0 of the National Field Guide will be ready for implementation on 10/1/03.
Action: All bands need to have changes for version 2.0 ready for FIA Mgt. Team
discussion by June 2002 FIA Mgt. Team Meeting. NOTE: This means that change
proposals need to be in the process no later than 4/1/02.
RS with AB and DAB
GPS technology and accuracy of GPS coordinates:
RB would like DAB would look for new GPS to provide updated technology. Can units other
than the PLGR be used? Can these units track accuracy?
One related issue is the number of transcription errors. How much of a problem exists?
Whatever the magnitude of the problem, it won’t be solved until data recorder has direct
interaction with PDR. RMRS is using Allegro with built in GPS chip. Not sure of the accuracy
of this GPS hardware.
Action: DAB will look at reducing the number of transcription errors for entering GPS
Action: RB needs to provide GPS accuracy estimate for data needs.
What about GPS coordinates for NF plots? What does each unit do in this situation?
Action: Recommendation that RB survey each unit to determine how GPS coordinates
for NF plots are added to the NIMS.
Thursday January 10
DAB and IM
Tree Species List Coding:
Tree species codes needs to go to change to accommodate additional species (see notes from AB
discussion) for version 2.0 of the National Field Guide. Options:
1. Use PLANTS - only alpha-code and PLANTS species list changes on a regular basis.
2. Add to the end of current species list and move to four digits – species codes won’t be in
numeric order within genus.
3. Complete revision to four digits – will require a complete overhaul and planning. All
species codes will be changed as opposed to previous option.
Action: DAB will use option 3 to reflect updates in species codes for version 2.0 of the
National Field Guide.
The additional species will need to be added to the specific species group for forest type
determination, density calculations, specify volume and biomass equations to use, region that the
species is active, softwood or hardwood designation, DBH vs. DRC, and others.
Action: AB needs to identify the above categories for each new species added to the list
and provide to IM.
Three discussion topics:
1. Poster session for FIA All-Hands meeting
2. Band membership and leadership discussion
3. Pre-planning for version 2.0 modifications
Poster session for FIA All-Hands meeting:
Colleen agreed to assemble the poster for the session. Each unit will provide photographs for
use on the poster. These are due to Colleen by 1/25/02.
Band membership and leadership discussion:
The DAB felt that the current band membership was appropriate. If the group was any larger,
the band may lose its ability to function efficiently and effectively.
The band also felt that limiting tenure on the band might also hamper the ability to function
efficiently and effectively. The reason is often the notes from a meeting and conference call only
reflect the final decision not necessarily the discussion path used to make that decision. If there
were a large turnover in membership this information may be lost. This doesn’t mean that
membership won’t change but it would only change on a case-by-case basis.
The band leadership position should change on a regular basis to provide some opportunity for
other band members to function as a team leader. It was agreed that the band leadership position
would change every 2½ years.
Action: At the next DAB meeting in Tucson, AZ the DAB will elect a new bandleader.
Pre-planning for version 2.0 modifications:
DAB Discussion Items for Future Calls/Meetings – From the JBM in Boulder, CO last spring.
Planned activity is listed after the topic in BOLD.
1. How to handle lost data? Treat as lost plot. – IM issue.
2. Condition class delineation – what still needs work? For example – alternating strip rule,
30 ft. riparian exception, manual explanations and definitions, improved figures, etc.
Version 2.0 manual text changes.
3. How to handle reverted areas that do not qualify as a separate condition? Version 2.0
manual text changes.
4. Specific disturbance codes – Standardize between units? Address in Version 2.0
through change process.
5. Item 2.4.17, Treatment 1,2,3 – More specific codes under code 10? Can the definitions
be standardized between units? AB will propose through change process for version
6. Item 2.3.23, Physiographic class – Once 100% of the plots have GPS coordinates, then
drop this code? Address in Version 2.0 through change process.
7. Is it possible to match hydric definitions with wetland definitions? AB will propose
through change process for version 2.0.
8. Are additional corners needed for annular plots? Not needed.
9. Finalize the glossary. Being worked on currently.
10. Subplot slope/aspect – revisit with “topographic origami” concept. Drop from
11. Item 5.11, % Rotten/Missing Cull – Is this variable still needed to be collected by the
field crews? If so, need to standardize procedures. Drop from consideration.
12. Comparison of Crown Light/Position vs. Crown Class – Can Crown Light/Position derive
Crown Class? Bill Bechtold is developing a paper on this; will probably be
submitted as a change proposal.
13. Compacted vs. Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio. Bill Bechtold is developing a paper
on this; will probably be submitted as a change proposal.
14. Continue to develop the QA plan for P2 and P3. Being worked on currently.
15. Forked trees and DBH – How to handle consistently? Version 2.0 manual text changes.
16. Standardized procedures for dwarf and Krumholtz tree conditions? Version 2.0 manual
17. Continue improving the manual. Do we need a professional editing on the text as
written? Drop from consideration.
18. P3 field guide revisions – Who, what, when, and how? Being worked on currently.
19. Measure stump height (> 4.5 ft.)? Are high stumps considered snags? Allow standing
trees to have a utilization code; need to change language in both the utilization code and
tree status. All trees will have to have a utilization code; code could default to no
utilization. Drop from consideration.
20. P3 training – Who is responsible for ISEM, EM and/or other projects? Not our
responsibility; don’t need to accommodate.
21. How to accommodate P3 training and pretraining? Being worked on currently.
22. Condition class change – How to deal with this at remeasurement? Address in Version
2.0 through change process.
23. Training materials – sharing between units. Being worked on currently.
24. DAB role in PDR selection and discussions, what is our role? Being worked on
currently. We have a liaison with PDR team.
25. Damage additions/clarification from the damage Indicator Advisors. Part of the current
1.5 version change proposal.
26. List of FS-Veg National Field Guide Concerns – 2/26 – 3/2/2001 meeting; 24 items.
Attached to these notes. Will need to consider at Tucson.
27. Addition of Pest Causal Agent to the data collection effort. Version 2.0 manual text
28. Native American burial grounds – denied access; how to handle consistently and what to
call this? Do we need to address in the manual explicitly? Drop from consideration.
29. Subsampling tree variables – which ones? What are the procedures? Will be addressed
in post-version 2.0 revisions.
30. Azimuth and distance to trees – Is it still needed? Slope distance vs. horizontal distance.
Needs to be core on both the annular and subplot? Address in Version 2.0 through
change process. Need to relax the MQO’s for annular plots and address trees near
the plot boundaries.
31. Drop condition class designation? Drop from consideration.
32. If high stumps become snags, need revised MQOs. Drop from consideration.
33. Need additional guidance on DBH on snags. Version 2.0 manual text changes.
34. Invasive plants – still in progress. Vince will distribute the southern procedures along
with the field guide developed for the crews to the other DAB members being done on P2
plots. Version 2.0 manual text changes.
35. Consistency question – is stand age being conducted with the proportional percentage by
each unit? Unknown.
36. Some forest types don’t have a definition. No plan at this time.
37. Stocking tables – where are they? Unknown.
38. Provide each regional manual or linkage to Barb Conkling. Done.
39. Need to expand the list of variables than can be estimated, collected partially, modeled
and share with the SB. Action item in these notes; will be addressed in post-version
40. SRS has asked the DAB to deal with tree class, tree grade, and board foot cull
procedures. Drop from consideration.
41. Need to review the tree species/lifeform procedures from R5 – Ralph Warbington. Will
be addressed in post-version 2.0 revisions.
42. SK2 revisions for the field guide. Address in Version 2.0 through change process.
43. What previous data is provided to the crews for SK2 plots? IM issue; drop from
DAB and IA
Each FIA unit will define their P3 training needs, schedules etc. and provide this to the IAs (see
Time needed by indicator and veteran status.
Indicator Veteran New
Crowns/Damage ½ day (no certification 1½ day (w/cert.)
Ozone up to ½ day ½ day
Vegetation; w/certification 2 days 4 days
DWD; w/certification? 1½ day 2 days
Soils; w/certification? ½ - 1 day 1 day
Lichens; w/certification ¾ days 2 days
Numbers of trainers that need to participate in a pretraining session by indicator (all regions) for
this upcoming field season.
Indicator Number of individuals trained
Pretraining Sessions Scheduling and Planning:
RM/PNW trainers will attend Training/Pretraining at 1st RMRS field crew training
Trainers will be IA’s or their designee
Lichens/Vegetation trainers from other regions will have to attend this session
DWD, Crowns/Damage, Soils, Ozone trainers will be trained with RMRS crews
In Arizona (actual location to be determined by RMRS)
Week of April 15
Use Monday and Saturday as travel dates
Brender Demonstration Forest – near Macon, GA (about 1 hour from Atlanta, GA
Week of April 29
Include a ½ day for lichen/vegetation overview on the schedule
Indicators trained - DWD, Crowns/Damage, Soils, Ozone
Action: Each unit will develop training plans for this year. DAB will send to IA’s by
Action: IA’s will develop a schedule and requirements for each of the pretraining
sessions and send to the DAB by 2/1/02.
Training Plan, Lesson Plan, and Training Session Requirements
Responsible Party: Indicator Lead, primarily Parts A and B, but Parts C and D may need to be
addressed by some indicator leads.
A. Information provided prior to the Training Session:
1. Site requirements for having a successful training session, both indoor and
outdoor needs for the instructor and the field crews.
2. Time requirements.
a. Number and sequence of time blocks and days for each component of the
b. Time needed for set-up before the training session begins.
3. Instructor requirements. Identify Lead Instructor and Assistants, level of
training and experience required, number needed for inside and outside
activities, etc. Consider set-up needs, also.
4. Expectations from other training sessions or trainers, if any. For example,
field certification plot must include an ozone biosite; or PDR Trainer is
expected to cover the Tally menus for this indicator.
5. Outline of Training Plan including any specific prerequisites for the field
crews, scheduling needs, and all certification requirements.
6. Field equipment list so that trainees are prepared.
B. Information provided at the Training Session:
1. Initial classroom presentation. Indicator lead presents:
a. Basic rationale for the indicator.
b. Objectives of the training session.
c. Time schedule.
d. Explanation of testing activities including practice, certification, and
2. Basic "How To" for the indicator. Indicator lead provides:
a. Complete text on field procedures.
b. Complete package of visual aids.
c. Detailed explanation of field crew responsibilities.
d. Complete testing package, including where appropriate
i. Preliminary testing exercise.
ii. Written test including additional versions for so test will vary
iii. Field test.
iv. Retesting materials.
v. Test scoring and passing grade.
Note: The training presentation and written test should follow the text sequence of the Field
Methods Guide, as much as possible.
3. Additional classroom presentation; Indicator lead must review:
a. Field Methods Guide.
b. Field data sheets.
c. PDR menus.
d. All testing materials.
e. Equipment use and maintenance.
f. Frequently asked questions.
g. QA activities during the field season; expectations of crew.
h. Tasks that are not completed during the time on the plot:
i. Data download and transfer
i. Sample preparation and mailing.
ii. Landowner contacts.
j. Final points to emphasize.
4. Training activities. Indicator lead provides detail on:
a. Demonstration exercise for trainers.
b. Supervised, hands on exercise for trainees.
c. Practice session.
d. Integration/choreography of the plot work.
i. How does it all fit together?
ii. Field crew responsibilities emphasized again.
iii. Recommended task sequence.
iv. Tips to improve efficiency.
v. Tips to maintain data quality.
5. Course/Instructor Evaluation Form.
Note: Parts C and D in the outline below are items that should be addressed primarily by the
regional managers or the individual organizing the regional training session, but some indicators
may need to address some items in these two sections.
C. Employment Guidelines and Field Crew Prerequisites for Attending the Regional
FHM Training Sessions:
1. New Guidelines or Recommendations:
b. Level of education.
d. Driving license.
e. Corrected vision within normal range.
2. Forestry Related Skills.
b. Use of measuring tapes, compass, clinometer, prism, etc.
c. Read topographical maps.
d. Ability to follow a set course through the woods.
3. FHM Background
a. Field Methods Guide is reviewed.
b. PDR self-guided tours are completed.
c. FHM brochures are reviewed.
d. Landowner communication/contact procedures are reviewed.
4. Safety and First Aid Equipment - knowledge and use.
a. How do we document compliance?
b. Is this a QA issue? Part of the accountability process?
D. Regional Training Sessions Considerations
1. Role/Expectations of training session coordinator.
2. Role/Expectations of introductory speaker.
DAB Issues developed during the FIA-FSVeg crosswalk meeting Feb. 26 – Mar. 2, 2001
1. IM issue with National Manual and FIADB – right now county is defined as “Unit” for
2. Should PLOT NUMBER be a number (4) or number (5)? National field manual has 4,
FIADB has 5.
3. Should the field size for TREE match between the two? National field manual has 3,
FIADB has 9.
4. Shouldn’t every unit be collecting DECLINATION? (core optional)? Would be used for
converting GPS data at a reference point taken at a point other than plot center.
5. Lat/long differs between the National field manual and FIADB. One has degrees/min/sec
and the other has decimal degrees. Gary Brand says NCFIA collects degrees and decimal
minutes on pluggers. PNW AK collects decimal seconds. What should FSVeg store?
6. UTM Zone – what are the Q,R,S,T,U,V,W codes? Does the character have to do with a
7. UTM Easting in the National Field Manual has N(7) - - shouldn’t it be N(6)?
8. GPS elevation – National field manual has elevation has N(6) - - shouldn’t it be only 5?
Is elevation collected more than one way – GPS versus quad. Map versus DEM versus
9. Plot-level notes – FSVeg has a Notes field with a 2000 character maximum. Should we
change UNLIMITED to 2000 character max?
10. Why did the DAB develop a 0=nonreserved, 1=reserved scheme? From the time FIA
began measuring reserved lands, 1=nonreserved and 2=reserved. RPA further modified
this to 1=nonreserved, 2=reserved, non-NFS, 3=NFS, nonwilderness, 4=NFS, wilderness.
The codes in the National manual match nothing previous.
11. The paragraph beginning “To estimate STAND AGE…”, refers to overstory trees.
However, the lead in to Stand age talks about using trees from the recorded Stand Size
Class. Trees for the Stand Size Class are not necessarily overstory. Change the words
“weight(s)” to “proportion(s)” in sentence that now reads “Assign a weight to each core
by visually ..” and “Make sure the weights from all cores…”.
12. Why does TREATMENT include Natural Regeneration? This is not a treatment.
13. Physiographic class – the name doesn’t match the codes very well. Maybe name the
variable Topo-moisture category or Moisture regime or ?
14. Mortality code – right now it reads (New Location). Why can’t it be used on a
remeasurement location? - - meeting attendees – was this the question?
15. What was the rationale for changing the definition in Lean Angle to “greater than 45
degrees is down”? This variable should be named something like “Down flag” because it
does not contain an angle. What is wrong with recording an angle and then users can
decide what is standing versus down? Also, version 1.4 and 1.5 define a tree supported
by other trees as standing. But, historically in RMRS periodic inventory, we defined
trees supported by other trees as down! This is a bad change in definition. On what basis
was this change made?
16. An issue was brought to my attention on 3/5/2001 about Uncompacted Crown Ratio. In
last week’s meeting, we did not see a problem in crosswalking this Core Optional
variable into FSVeg. However, “we have a problem, Houston”. When reading the
definition and looking at the examples, it becomes clear that this methodology is totally
different from the way FIA or most other forestry organizations have ever collected this
piece of information. Version 1.5 clearly indicates the crews should use TOTAL TREE
HEIGHT in the computation, not total tree Length. FIA never stores a variable of TREE
HEIGHT. Look at the examples of how to calculate this attribute for a leaning tree.
Depending on how far a tree is leaning, it essentially becomes a crown width variable! I
have been told this is an FHM way of doing business. Therefore, this variable should be
named P3 (or FHM) uncompacted crown ratio and possible another variable could be
added as core optional of Uncompacted crown ratio. Once you change the methodology,
thereby changing the value stored in the variable, it should be renamed! This is a data
17. We are concerned about consistency in field application of the rotten/missing and rough
cull variables. The variable for rotten/missing leaves out any missing top with the
assumption that it will be handled by the two “length” measurements. Form defect is not
accounted for in rough cull variable. As far as we know, form is not gathered anywhere.
So, someone has to assure that each “regional” compilation system is correctly handling
these variables. These variables are important in arriving at the Nationally-needed Tree
Class categories of Growing Stock, Rough cull and Rotten cull.
18. We recommend the field crews ALWAYS fill in both Actual and Total Height. Actual
height should not be the optionally filled in field. PDRs can be easily programmed to
accept either Total or Actual length, then immediately populate the other and only have it
overridden when Total is not equal to Actual. That minimizes key strokes for the crew.
19. DAB, in collaboration with indicator advisors and FHP staff, should examine the damage
location coding scheme to possibly get FHP and FIA/FHM together. Right now, FSVeg
uses the FHP scheme so the crosswalk is not easy.
20. Would someone on the DAB examine the FSVeg Snag decay class attribute and verify
that the definitions between FIA Decay class and FSVeg match. More info can be found
in the Common Stand Exam (CSE) manual on page 3-5-13.
21. The sentence in the National field guide under UTILIZATION CLASS is poorly worded
and leads to confusion. It says to use the code for cut trees but Tree Status code 3
includes trees killed by harvesting. The first sentence of description reads “removed from
the site” but the first code is defined as “left on site”. Also, the name of this variable is
poor. Most people would not associate “cut and left” versus “cut and removed” with
utilization. A better descriptor for this variable might be something like “Removed flag”.
As we looked between this variable and Tree Status, it seemed like the Removal tree
status (code 3) should be taken out. The Removal category seems to overload the Tree
Status variable with dissimilar information. Is a Removal tree also a dead tree?
22. Tree Count should be a have a flag variable indicating estimate versus accurate count.
This will be especially important if the proposed change to Tree Count is implemented.
23. We believe that site trees need a subplot number, tree number, azimuth and distance. The
subplot, azimuth and distance are currently all core optional. These attributes are needed
for QA and remeasurement.
24. In Section 8, describing Nonforest/Denied access/Hazardous plots, variable numbers
8.3.11 through 8.3.14 should not show Accessible forest land as a valid code. Also, the
variable names should somehow include the phrase “Subplot Center”. These variables
are not the same as Condition Status. Actually, this whole procedure seems bogus. All
plots should be handled the same way. The crew should have to enter location level info
and data for each subplot and condition (usually only one condition). That way all plots
would be handled in the same manner.