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Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan’s 10th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop is back in person, on Feb 7 & 8th. The event theme is "Building Bridges to Tomorrow: Restoration and Reclamation for the Future"

Heather Peat Hamm, of the CFGA, will present "Ground Truth Data Collection for National Grassland Inventory: Challenges and Opportunities" on Feb 8th, 2:10pm. Feb 8th speaker schedule available here.

Venue: Saskatoon Inn, Saskatoon, SK.

Full event information is available here.

Ground Truth Data Collection for National Grassland Inventory: Challenges and Opportunities

Heather Peat Hamm, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association

The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) undertook an initial effort to create a National Grassland Inventory (NGI) using geospatial data to estimate the location and extent of remaining native grasslands and current tame grasslands in Canada. The overarching goal is to develop a way to monitor the extent of native and tame grasslands in Canada using geospatial data in order to better track grasslands in a timely manner. This effort requires ground-based knowledge of a subset of grassland sites in Canada. Such ground truth data provides information for machine learning as well as to test the model of the relationship between a variety of available geo-spatial datasets and what is known to occur on the ground. This process requires ground truth data points from grassland across Canada and, given the extent and variety of grasslands in Canada, this is not a simple task. 
Protocol was developed by the Prairie Landscape Inventory (PLI) in Saskatchewan, which was shared with CFGA as a starting template and which expedited the work. CFGA developed an expanded protocol for other provinces for categorization of grassland into Native, Tame, Altered/Mixed, and Shrubs, with additional data on dominant species, captured using Survey123.
In 2022, survey work focused on Manitoba and ongoing work of the PLI. In 2023, surveys continued in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and moved into Alberta, portions of British Columbia, and Ontario. Through dedicated contractors, forage associations, collaborators, and several committed NGOs, over 10,700 data points were collected for the NGI over 2 seasons.

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