Using widely spaced observations of land use, forest attributes, and intrusions to map resource potential and human impact probability
Scant information exists about the spatial extent of human impact on forest resource supplies, i.e., depreciative and nonforest uses. I used observations of ground-sampled land use and intrusions on forest land to map the probability of resource use and human impact for broad areas. Data came from a seven State survey region (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, east Oklahoma, Tennessee, and east Texas) containing 32,000 land-use plots, with detailed attribute information for about half of these plots classed as forest land. Forest land attributes included human-associated intrusions (beverage containers, garbage, livestock grazing, timber management activities), proximity to nonforest land, forest fragment size, ownership, and forest type. Tools included geographic information software, a 100 MHz Pentium I processor, and 0.4-ha land-use and forest resource sample plots nominally spaced at 4.8-km intervals. I transferred information from sample plot locations to grid cells sized large enough to minimize computer memory storage and computation requirements, and small enough to conservatively model information from adjacent cells with plot information and include no more than one sample plot per cell. Results used spatially moving averages, with examples, to assess the spatial context of forest resources. Maps displayed regions of high and low probability of altered forest resources, forest attributes, and patterns qualitatively correlated with nonforest land-use neighborhoods. Findings suggested land areas with potential for multiple resource uses and forest land vulnerable to nonforest conversion.