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Oregon Coast Range Ecological Conservation: Mapping Recent Logging Within Drinking Watersheds of Oregon’s Coastal Range to Support Future Resource Management PoliciesLogging operations are widespread across the Oregon Coast Range and conventional logging practices pose a risk of contamination to surface water quality. The NASA DEVELOP Oregon Coast Ecological Conservation team partnered with nonprofit Oregon Wild to quantify the extent of clearcutting and commercial thinning in 80 Coast Range drinking watersheds between 2000 and 2022. This project used all available Landsat data from 1997 through June 2023 in Google Earth Engine. Sensors used include Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper, Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager, and Landsat 9 Operational Land Imager-2. The Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) algorithm was used with Landsat observations to identify clearcutting patches. Percent change in summer median Landsat Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images were used to identify areas of forest disturbance including commercial thinning. The team concluded that logging, including both clearcutting and commercial thinning, impacted 31% of forested area in drinking watersheds and the intensity of logging remained consistent from year to year. Clearcutting occurred primarily on private land while commercial thinning occurred primarily on state and federal lands. This study showed that CCDC effectively identifies clearcutting, and percent change in NDVI successfully identifies disturbances including commercial thinning. Key constraints included the lack of field validation data and the inability to attribute disturbances to logging with certainty. Ultimately, this study identified the drinking watersheds and communities most likely to be impacted by logging activity. These results can inform legislation aimed at balancing the commercial and environmental benefits of forestlands.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Other - DEVELOP Technical Report
Emily French
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Uma Edulbehram
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Sarah Hughes
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Madison Arndt
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2023
Publication Date
August 11, 2023
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 970315.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Professional Review
Drinking Water Quality
Continuous Change Detection and Classification
Google Earth Engine
Oregon Coast Range
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