FORESTRY FUTURES TRUST ONTARIO
Forest Resources Inventory (FRI)
Ontario’s forest resources inventory (FRI) provides information about forests and trees species for forest management units in the managed forest zone. This information includes tree species distribution and range, stand composition, and tree age, and it is used to support resource management and land use decisions and to meet provincial, federal, and international reporting needs. Forest resources inventory is developed in advance of the ten-year forest management planning cycle and is the base for the planning inventory used in planning.
For more information about the FRI, how inventories are produced using lidar technology, and a map of FRI production areas, see https://www.ontario.ca/page/forest-resources-inventory
As part of the government’s response to the recommendations from the Minister's Council on Forest Sector Competitiveness, enhancement of the FRI program was announced on September 29, 2005. As part of the enhancement, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) assumed full responsibility for inventory production.
Following that decision, FRI funding administration was assigned to the Forestry Futures Trust Committee. In addition, a Provincial Forest Inventory Advisory Committee (PFIAC) was established to advise the ministry on how to ensure the FRI program would remain current and effective. The MNRF retains the overall stewardship role, policy responsibility, scheduling and priority setting, standard setting, quality control, and information management requirements for the program.
For more information about the administration of the FRI and the FRI Knowledge Transfer Tool Development (KTTD) continuous improvement initiative, with links to KTTD projects and deliverables, see http://www.forestryfutures.ca/enhanced-forest-resource-inventory.
An evolving FRI:
As forest industry’s needs and technology evolve, forest management planning information needs to keep pace. Ontario’s FRI continues to evolve to provide more accurate and timely information to meet these needs.
- Current FRI, referred to as T1 — is digital imagery based and available for each forest management unit across the province. For access to the current T1 forest resources inventories and related products, visit Forest Resources Inventory Packaged Products - Version 2 | Ontario GeoHub (gov.on.ca).
- Lidar-enhanced FRI, referred to as T2 — is in development, with four pilot test areas completed (not yet widely available as final attributes contingent on ongoing policy discussions/decisions). For access to one pilot test (not final) inventory, visit Forest Resources Inventory Term 2 (T2) 2018-2028 | Ontario GeoHub (gov.on.ca).
- Continuous inventory model, referred to as T3 — a proposed model, under discussion, that would use new technology to support a more continuously updated inventory. For background about what this could look like, a discussion paper, the Ontario Living Inventory White Paper, was commissioned to provide a base for exploring options and approaches. Request a copy.
T2 lidar-enhanced data acquisition status as of spring 2023
Since 2018, lidar imagery has been acquired for the following forest management units:
Lidar imagery acquisition will continue in 2023 for select forest management units. Actual acquisition may vary due to weather/flying conditions during the season.
For more information about lidar acquisitions and access to available data sets, visit the FRI GeoHub page. Note: Before it’s uploaded to GeoHub, lidar goes through quality control, processing, and compression steps. Lidar acquired summer 2023 will be available on GeoHub by late spring 2024
VSN field plot status
An extensive network of field plots across the managed forest supports lidar calibration and modelling for the T2 inventory. Field plot data collection follows lidar collection by one to two years. For details about this plot network and data collection status, read the fact sheet English or French.
- White, J.C., M. Woods, T. Krahn, C. Papasodoro, D. Bélanger, C. Onafrychuk and I. Sinclair. 2020. Evaluating the capacity of single photon lidar for terrain characterization under a range of forest conditions. Remote Sensing of Environment 252: 112169.
- Queinnec, M., N.C. Coops, J.C. White, G. McCartney and I. Sinclair. 2022. Developing a forest inventory approach using airborne single photon lidar data: From ground plot selection to forest attribute prediction. Forestry 95(3): 347–362. (Request a copy)
- Coops, N.C., P. Tompalski, T.R.H. Goodbody, A. Achi and C. Mulverhill. 2023. Framework for near real-time forest inventory using multi source remote sensing data. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research 96(1): 1–19.
- A best practices guide for generating forest inventory attributes from airborne laser scanning data using an area-based approach (publications.gc.ca)
- A model development and application guide for generating an enhanced forest inventory using airborne laser scanning data and an area-based approach
- Sinclair, I. 2023. Lidar cross country check up: Ontario update. Canadian Institute of Forestry presentation recording. (use scroll bar to advance to Ian Sinclair’s talk, which is approximately 60 minutes into the recording and is about 20 minutes long).
- White, J., J.-F. Prieur, M. Queinnec, G. McCartney and I. Sinclair. 2019. New lidar technologies on the horizon: Single photon and multi-spectral lidar. Presented as part of AWARE (Assessment of Wood Attributes using Remote sensing) e-lecture series.
- Woods, M. and I. Sinclair. 2019. Exploration of the innovation potential of single-photon lidar for Ontario’s eFRI. Canadian Wood Fibre Centre/Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Presented as part of the CIF-IFC seminar series.
- Wood, M. and M. Penner. 2020. Linking lidar with inventory and planning. Presented as part of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Science Insights seminar series.
- Woods, M. and M. Penner. 2021. Lidar at work (and Q&A session). Presented as part of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Science Insights seminar series.