ESTIMATING THE STATUS OF FOREST COVER IN ALMORA DISTRICT BY USING FOREST CANOPY DENSITY: A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY
Keywords:Forest Resource, Forest Canopy Density (FCD), Forest Monitoring and Management, Sustainable Development, and GIS and Remote Sensing.
GIS and remote sensing play an important role in monitoring and management of forest resources on the earth's surface. Forest is highly essential to the existence of life on the earth's surface through the biosphere creation. Forest canopy density (FCD) is most of the one technique for the monitoring and management of forest resources with correlated GIS and remote sensing. The objective of the study was to estimate the status of forest coverin the Almora district by using forest canopy density (FCD). In this study, Four indexes that are known as Advanced Vegetation Index (AVI), Bare Soil Index (BSI), Shadow Index (SI), and Thermal Index (TI), has been used to calculate the forest canopy density which represents the status of forest cover in the study area. All these indexes were based on the Landsat 8 OLI satellite imagery.
As a result of this study, the total forest cover area of 1961.46 sq km was identified within the study area which represents 62.24% of the total area. In this study, forest cover area was classified into four classes such as Very Dense Forest, Moderately Dense Forest, Open Forest (OF), and Non-Forest Class. All classes were classified based onthe Forest Canopy Density Model (FCD). According to Forest classification, Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) and Open Forest (OF) classes were founded in a highly critical situation.