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Applying LiDAR for Parks and Protected Area Management

Robert S. Bristow, Anna Therien, Timothy LeDoux


Many parks and protected areas around the globe lack basic resource inventories needed for the creation of effective sustainable management plans. Despite the absence of comprehensive resource inventories, outdoor recreation planners still have to address existing problems and threatened resources on protected lands as best as they can. The challenge for parks and protected areas managers is to establish this priority, given the lack of much-needed resources and data. To address this gap, remote sensing technologies such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) can be used by recreation managers to create cost-effective resource inventories for large areas of land in national and local parks. This research note demonstrates how the use of LIDAR technology and historical archives can be used to create a resource inventory of a variety of historic features in the Bear Hole Watershed of West Springfield, Massachusetts, an area that encompasses over 1,293 acres of protected park lands. 

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LiDAR; remote sensing; parks and protected areas; historic and cultural resources; park management

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