News & Events

An article on the Washington Forestland Database Project was published in the January 2012 edition of the Western Forester (page 10).- Read Article- Complete Journal

Research Projects

2012 Washington Statewide Parcel Database

Washington Forestland Database Project

Washington Forest Biomass Supply Assessment Project

Video Services

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The Rural Technology Initiative

RTI (Rural Technology Initiative) was established in January 2000 by a federal grant as a pilot project to accelerate the implementation of new technologies in rural forest resource-based communities. The RTI mission was simple: Empower the existing infrastructure to use better technology in rural areas for managing forests for increased product and environmental values in support of local communities. The mission was accomplished through forestry technology development, such as forest stand modeling, and forest management training sessions across the state. Though the program was deemed necessary by our constituents, and successful by an outside Federal evaluation committee, funding was not extended beyond the pilot trial period.

As funding was contracted, training and support services were ended. However, the uniquely skilled staff of RTI continued to do cutting edge work based on grant stipulations instead of the original RTI mission statement. The value of this core group that started as RTI remains at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and now applies their skills to tackle research problems through the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools. They administer the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) license for the University of Washington, give guidance to graduate and PhD students in GIS, head and participate in several working groups and committees, and are considered leaders in the field of GIS.

In 2012, the Rural Technology Initiative was officially placed under the direction of the Precision Forestry Cooperative (PFC). The RTI web page will remain unchanged, and its publications, video trainings, and tools will continue to be available (the website will not be updated). However, since the focus of RTI’s work is no longer congruent with the original mission statement of technology transfer to rural forestry communities, the core staff is working on creating a new organizational moniker that is more fitting to the work being performed. This organization formerly known as RTI specializes in applied GIS research, and is struggling to come up with a new name.

The old RTI website is still online, but is no longer updated.

 

Research Projects

2012 Washington Statewide Parcel Database

In 2007, 2009, and 2010, the 39 counties of Washington were contacted to provide data as part of an effort to assemble a seamless, spatial, statewide parcel database. This, along with parcel data from Federal, State, and Native American entities, resulted in the successful development of three different versions of the Washington Statewide Parcel Database. We are now working to collect parcel data to develop 2012 version. For more information on the project, visit the WAGIS website.

Washington Forestland Database Project

The Washington State Forestland Database (WSFD) is a well-developed and evolving tool used to analyze forest ownership and management patterns and model forestry economics at a statewide scale. Started in 2001, it combines land ownership, land use, and assessment information with physical characteristics for every parcel in the state. It is a derivative product of the Washington Statewide Parcel Database, and is essential to several research projects at the University of Washington. Here's a link to the old RTI website with more background information.

Washington Forest Biomass Supply Assessment Project

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) contracted with the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences to produce a tool to help measure the amount of harvestable biomass within the state. This assessment is the first step necessary in viability of creating a sustainable biomass-to-energy infrastructure and industry in the state of Washington. Here's a news release posted by the DNR.