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Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

Step 1: Plot sampling

Step 1: Plot sampling Step 4: Tracing boundaries from photo Step 2: Aerial photography Step 5: Output from traced photo Source: Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Figure 10. Forest Inventory Process in Canada Step 3: Photo interpretation using stereoscope Step 6: Computer model Canada National Forest Inventory (CanFI) 2001 is the most recent inventory collected for Canada. The current approach to an economy-wide inventory is based on existing data making it is cost-effective. The process is well-established and accepted by the contributing agencies, and provides detailed information about Canada’s forests that is consistent with forest management information. The inventory also contains location-specific information on the characteristics and quantity of the forest resource, providing mapping and spatial analysis capabilities. While this periodic compilation has many advantages, CanFI data can be up to 25 years old and collected using variable data standards. CanFI does not allow tracking of the rate and nature of changes to the resource over time, nor does it necessarily reflect the current state of the forests. It also generally lacks information on non-timber attributes and is of unknown precision. A new design for Canada's forest inventory has been developed and is being implemented to address weaknesses of CanFI. Instead of a periodic compilation of existing information from across the country, the National Forest Inventory (NFI) is a plot-based design consisting of permanent observational units located on an economy-wide grid. This new design tracks changes such as land cover, forest area, and volumes, and supports additional forest resource information. It will replace the current CanFI approach and allow comparisons with time. More information about NFI and its progress is available at http://nfi.nfis.org/ (CFS). 33

Numerical and geospatial modeling has been used by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). A biomass production model estimates the amount of crop residues available after a portion of it is left on the field to meet soil protection and animal feed requirements. Further, GIS is used to illustrate the geographic distribution of these resources. Figure 11 illustrates an example - potential surplus wheat straw production in the Western Canadian prairies (Stumborg et al. 2004). Source: Stumborg 2004 Figure 11. Areas of Potential Surplus Wheat Straw in Western Canada The Census of Agriculture (CA), part of Canada’s National Statistical Agency, is the main provider of agricultural statistics at an economy-wide, provincial/territorial, regional, divisional, and sub-divisional level. The census has been taken every five years since 1956, the most recent being developed in 2006. Data is collected using paper surveys (questionnaires) mailed to farmers. Samples are used for making agriculture estimates between census years. Provinces/Territories’ Departments of Agriculture also provide agricultural statistics collected via paper and field surveys. In addition to the agencies mentioned above, many of the leading colleges and universities in Canada with agricultural or engineering programs have the potential to contribute to biomass resource assessments efforts. Several universities, including Moncton, Sherbrooke, Guelph, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC have extensive experience in a range of agricultural disciplines. Others including McGill, Ottawa, Queen’s, Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have significant experience in engineering sciences that are important to the development of bio-products. Still others have strong environmental or forestry programs that could provide valuable expertise. Even universities without strengths in these 34

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