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Experimental Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles Collect Data on Sage Grouse Habitat


The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office will offer an informational meeting on local use of Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on June 15th from 5:00 to 6:00p.m. A UAV crew will demonstrate how UAVs collect data with examples of how the data is used for observing, monitoring, and measuring the landscape.

Two crews will be flying two UAV’s in the area over the following two weeks. The crews’ mission will be focused on collecting data where western junipers are encroaching into sage grouse habitat. This data helps specialists prioritize where to remove trees and retain sagebrush and other understory vegetation important to sage grouse. Specialists anticipate that this method of collecting data will prove the most cost effective strategy for restoring and sustaining sage grouse habitat.

The crews will be operating remotely a Falcon Hover and a Falcon Fixed Wing. Each three-person crew consists of certified pilots including a pilot-in-charge, co-pilot to manage the image acquisition and data, and a visual flight observer. Maps of the planned flight areas will be shared at the meeting.

This operation will demonstrate how UAV’s may fill the gap between satellite and ground-based observations by having the ability to efficiently cover large areas of remote terrain. By design, they are intended to offer low-cost aerial imaging for ecological research and monitoring.

This meeting will be held at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, 2550 Riverside Dr, Susanville, CA 96130. More information is available at the Eagle Lake Field Office, (530) 257-0456.

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