Forsite Consultants Ltd. and BC Tree Improvement Branch Honoured for Implementation of GIS Solution

Kelowna, Esri Canada User Conference – May 14, 2014 Forsite Consultants Ltd. and British Columbia’s Tree Improvement Branch (TIB), Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations were presented today with an Award of Excellence by Esri Canada for developing a new mapping program which supports the conservation and growth of BC’s future forests.  By leveraging Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) solutions to review climate-based seed transfer science,  complex spatial data is transformed into visually appealing, easy to understand dynamic maps.

“We have data on the growth of various BC tree species from many seed sources, planted in provenances across BC, that has been analyzed in conjunction with climate change model data. Our scientific working group needed an effective way to display and review this information,” said Susan Zedel, Seed Resource Specialist, Tree Improvement Branch. “Lacking GIS expertise within the Branch, we tasked Forsite to create a system where we can  evaluate options for a climate-based tree seed transfer system to replace the current geographic-based system and to incorporate assisted migration.”

With several diverse biogeoclimatic zones ranging from coastal to mountains, British Columbia’s landscape provides unique challenges in reforestation, with approximately 240 million seedlings planted per year. Using climate criteria for seed deployment will improve adaptation of planted trees in the future, thereby maximizing growth and pest resistance.   Forsite used ArcGIS as a platform to build an easy to use and interactive Web map which is accessed through ArcGIS Online, a cloud-based solution that can be used by TIB personnel without any specialized GIS training.

“Using TIB’s data, we developed a new approach of providing dynamic access to this information,” added Stephen Smyrl, GIS Analyst, Forsite Consultants Ltd. “Simple, yet powerful, query tools have proven to be extremely valuable in making key decisions.  Intricate matrices are seamlessly integrated into the platform and parameters can be easily changed to create updated maps.”

“This initiative demonstrates the power of GIS as a pervasive and transformative technology,” noted Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “By using ArcGIS Online, TIB has an integrated solution for data management, analysis and visualization that allows them to review forest genetic and climate change science and develop options that will inform future seed transfer legislation and policy.”

About Forsite Consultants Ltd.
Incorporated in 1987, Forsite has been delivering effective forest land management and development services to government and industry clients for over 25 years. 

Starting as a small group of committed professionals in Salmon Arm, B.C. in 1987, focused on operational delivery of timber development and reforestation, Forsite has continued to grow to be a leading provider of integrated forest land development and management services to clients across Western Canada and the world.  We strive to ensure that as we continue to grow, we stay true to our roots, focused above all on client service and value, delivering solutions that make operational sense to our clients’ bottom line.

Forsite’s focus is on creating value for our clients in the area of forest land management. Whether it is individual specialty services or a full program management solution we strive to ensure we have satisfied customers by providing a quality product, in a timely manner for a fair price.

About Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource
Tree Improvement Branch (TIB) is within the Resource Stewardship Division of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

 TIB's mission is to protect, manage and conserve British Columbia's forest genetic resources through excellence in cone and seed services, research, tree breeding, decision support and  client services. TIB provides critical support for the Chief Forester's office and to understand, protect and conserve the genetic foundations of BC's public forests.

The MFLNRO has an agency-wide Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to respond to the impacts of climate change.  The development of  climate-based seed transfer policy based on scientific analysis forms part of this strategy.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300.  Information about the company can be found at Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn

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