The Louisiana Office of Forestry, recognizing the potential of Geographic Information Systems in the practice of applied Forestry techniques, established the GIS Section during the winter of 2008 in an effort to provide a resource of technological support for the other Forestry branches. The primary tasks of the GIS Section are to assist in digital data collection efforts and production, to provide a source for the most current statewide digital data sets, to distribute new technologies and assist in field training, to create Forestry oriented map and web service products, and representation of the Office of Forestry in statewide, regional, and national settings involved with GIS or spatial data and its impact on the interests of the Louisiana Office of Forestry.
Throughout each year, the Louisiana Office of Forestry GIS Section participates in data assimilation and analysis. Annual wildfire data interpretation, digital representation and attribution of management program implementation, and federal reporting on spatial-based data are typical products.
The Louisiana Office of Forestry is also the primary center of GIS technology for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and regularly provides support to other, adjacent offices as the need arises. In the past, Forestry GIS personnel have assisted in EPA Project 319 data collection and interpretation, department asset mapping, and marketing and informational layouts.
Since its inception, the GIS Section has focused on improving the ability of the State's foresters to collect and attribute field data. The section has pushed the latest GIS technologies into the field and offered technical instruction and advice to improve efficiency and accuracy in reporting the efforts and accomplishments of the Office's foresters statewide.