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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(6), 1211-1233; doi:10.3390/rs3061211

Use of Remote Sensing to Support Forest and Wetlands Policies in the USA

1
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 944 East Harmon Ave., EXC 129, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Current address: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 201 14th St. SW, Washington, DC 20250, USA.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2011 / Revised: 24 May 2011 / Accepted: 31 May 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Support of Environmental Policy)
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Abstract

The use of remote sensing for environmental policy development is now quite common and well-documented, as images from remote sensing platforms are often used to focus attention on emerging environmental issues and spur debate on potential policy solutions. However, its use in policy implementation and evaluation has not been examined in much detail. Here we examine the use of remote sensing to support the implementation and enforcement of policies regarding the conservation of forests and wetlands in the USA. Specifically, we focus on the “Roadless Rule” and “Travel Management Rules” as enforced by the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service on national forests, and the “No Net Loss” policy and Clean Water Act for wetlands on public and private lands, as enforced by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers. We discuss several national and regional examples of how remote sensing for forest and wetland conservation has been effectively integrated with policy decisions, along with barriers to further integration. Some of these barriers are financial and technical (such as the lack of data at scales appropriate to policy enforcement), while others are political.
Keywords: environmental policy; remote sensing; forests; wetlands; No Net Loss environmental policy; remote sensing; forests; wetlands; No Net Loss
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mayer, A.L.; Lopez, R.D. Use of Remote Sensing to Support Forest and Wetlands Policies in the USA. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1211-1233.

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