F&W Utilizing Drone Technology In Managing Forests

New Federal Aviation Administration regulations for the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—better known as drones—have opened the door for innovative and cost effective ways to assist landowners in managing their forests.

Stephen Logan, F&W’s Forest Inventory Group manager, said F&W has positioned itself to become a leader in forestry aerial imagery acquisition and analysis.

“Technology researchers at F&W have been preparing for the new rules for several years by testing and flying drones under a recreational status,” Logan said. “This has allowed F&W to vet hardware and software to best meet the needs of the forest landowner as well as develop innovative ways to use the technology.”

UAS’s are used to capture up-to-date aerial imagery for mapping and other forest management purposes such as property inspection, harvest status checks, weather damage, and herbicide efficacy.

With the easing of restrictions on commercial UAS use, F&W is taking advantage of the technology to provide its clients with cutting edge deliverables in a timely and cost efficient manner.

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