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KBM Resources Group



KBM JANUARY 2015: FOCUS ON FORESTRY


Contact Laird Van Damme, Senior Partner at 807-345-5445 ext. 232 for more information.

Out of its base location in Northwestern Ontario, KBM Resources Group proudly provides Canada's natural resources sectors with innovative solutions to service diverse business needs. Many of the new technologies and ideas that KBM exports across Canada and the Midwest US originally sprung from management services that go back to the company's forestry roots in Northwestern Ontario, over 40 years ago.

More recently, KBM's geomatics division has experienced brisk expansion, now also serving the mining and energy sectors in Ontario and western Canada. This was a necessary and forward-thinking adaptation to a national forestry crisis that left few in the forest sector untouched. Meanwhile, KBM has never lost sight of the company's "boots on the ground" history in forest management services, and continues to maintain a solid presence in Ontario's evolving forest economy. We also continue to invest in research and development to bring innovative new tools to forest managers across Canada.

Full service forest management solutions remain one of KBM's strengths. A dedicated roster of senior managers and staff work hard to deliver quality outcomes for government, private sector and Aboriginal clients. The evolution of Ontario's tenure system is presenting even more challenging opportunities for change in Ontario's management approach. KBM's full suite of forest management services includes:

  • Forest management and operational planning;
  • Field/technical services and equipment sales;
  • Aerial survey and a full range of geomatics services;
  • R&D program to support innovative management solutions through applied research;
  • Forest auditing to third-party certification standards;
  • Stakeholder engagement with forest management planning;
  • Aboriginal engagement and business development, land use planning and capacity-building for improved access to Ontario's forest economy.

KBM Geomatics Lab Working to Complete Ontario's enhanced Forest Resource Inventory (eFRI)

Contact Brad Chaulk, R.P.F. at (807) 345-5445 ext. 238 for more information.

The Ontario enhanced Forest Resources Inventory (eFRI) is a strategic level survey of forested lands and wetlands in Ontario. This FRI provides resource managers with a snap shot of the state of the forest, including information about tree species composition, range, age, and distribution, as well as, forest, ecological, and land use conditions.

KBM is one of several firms in Ontario that has been assisting the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry with completing the new provincial eFRI. The enhanced inventory uses high resolution, digital airborne imagery, and the inventory production process now involves more advanced technology to increase the accuracy and precision of the descriptive attributes.

Currently, KBM's interpreters are operating two shifts to achieve project completion and deliver a quality eFRI on time. When the project wraps up, KBM will have completed interpretation on approximately five million hectares of Crown land and measured 8,000 eFRI plots since 2007.

For more information on Ontario's eFRI, see: Enhancing Ontario's Forest Resources Inventory.


Forest Regeneration Assessment Using Large Scale Aerial Photography

Contact Stephane Audet, R.P.F.at (807) 345-5445 ext. 229 for more information.

In an effort to develop more efficient and reliable methods for assessing the regeneration status of Ontario's forests, KBM's geomatics division invested in developing new forest regeneration-focused workflows for free-to-grow surveys. These are based on large-scale aerial photography and 3D softcopy photo interpretation. Features of KBM's methodology and services include:

  • Acquisition of colour imagery (10cm resolution);
  • A standardized database;
  • Custom tool bar for editing/classifying FTG blocks;
  • Standardized block level and point sampling summary reporting tools, including detailed block level reports (map and tabular);
  • Tools for spatial tracking and easy configuration of results for field verification;
  • FTG-focused editing tools for efficient and accurate block assessments; and,

Trials have shown that one of the resulting benefits can include cost efficiencies for forest managers. The approach has been ground-truthed in Ontario, in cooperation with OMNRF and is rolling out across several forest management units in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Example of a free-to-grow block level map report.

The challenge:

Many regeneration surveys rely upon expensive ground surveys or aerial observation from helicopters. The latter approach is cost effective but has safety concerns and observations can be biased and difficult to reproduce in a consistent fashion.

KBM solution:

Digital large scale photographs allow for accurate height measurements and provide a permanent record of regeneration for auditing and tracking forest changes over time.


KBM R&D Update: Using Full-waveform LiDAR and Multispectral Imaging for Tree Species Identification

Contact Arnold Rudy at (807) 345-5445 ext. 264 for more information.

For a long time, forest inventory across Canada has relied on manual interpretation of air photos and Ontario alone spends $10 million/year maintaining the province’s forest inventory. However, new airborne remote sensing technologies are emerging to make inventories more reliable and provide additional value-added features.

For example, discrete return LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has been used to predict biomass, tree volume, stem size distributions, and other stand structural attributes. However, to date, tree species identification remains a time-consuming manual process requiring a substantial proportion of the time needed for the production of inventories.

Starting October 2014, KBM has a new post-doc (Jili Li) on staff under an NSERC grant to further investigate this issue. Jili’s goal is to produce a commercially viable method for tree species identification by identifying the minimum required pulse densities to achieve an acceptable error level for forest inventory. This project links state-of-the-art academic research with long-term industrial development and has great promise to decrease costs and increase efficiencies in the production of (value-added) forest inventories.

Caption: High density full-waveform LiDAR point cloud colorized by elevation.

  • Detailed forest stand metrics (height, DBH, volume) for individual tree or forest stand inventories
  • Digital elevation models (DEMs) or digital surface models (DSMs) for watershed, road location, viewshed or volume analysis
  • Detailed forest structure data as potential input to wildlife habitat models

The challenge:

Expensive, time-consuming manual interpretation of aerial photographs to update forest resource inventories in Canada.

KBM solution:

Apply remote sensing technologies to automate and remove interpreter bias from forest resource inventory and add value to the end product.


Assessing High Conservation Values in Ontario

Contact Rike Burkhardt, R.P.F. at (807) 345-5445 ext. 244 for more information.

High Conservation Value Forests, also known as HCV, are biological, ecological, social or cultural values which are considered significant or critically important in the local, regional or global context. KBM has been busy assisting forest managers with the assessment of HCVs on Crown and private lands in Ontario and most recently, forest areas south of the border in the United States. The identification and management of HCVs is a requirement under certain third-party forest certification systems, including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

  • Ontario has a species of moss called Brilliant Red Dung Moss (Splachnum rubrum)- species of the genus Splachnum are adapted to grow only on dung, especially that of moose.
  • While endemism (highly localized occurrences of species) is rare in the Boreal, Northwestern Ontario may harbour some species of endemic snail.
  • The Claude Garton Herbarium at Lakehead University has thousands of records of plant sightings that are not found in provincial databases.

Dung moss has a special relationship with insects in order to secure its survival. Shown here: Splachnum rubrum. Photo: M. Luth

The challenge:

Identify critical conservation values to ensure and demonstrate sustainable procurement practices.

KBM solution:

Full service HCV analysis, mapping and peer review to support chain-of-custody claims.


Get Ready for the 2015 Field Season at the KBM Store!

  • Quality equipment and supplies for forestry, geology, surveying, treeplanting and other outdoor professionals
  • Survey equipment and construction lasers
  • GPS - Garmin, Trimble and Topcon GPS systems available
  • Rugged handhelds for mobile data collection and geospatial positioning by Juniper systems
  • A world of flagging tape and other field accessories
  • All the safety equipment you need (satellite phones, first aid and survival kits, bear deterrent, hard hats, tear away vests and more)
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