Upstream Tech has been granted a Federal Financial Assistance Award to expand the existing pilot partnership with the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program (FLP) to provide 25 partnering state agencies with Lens, a remote sensing platform.
Since 2021, Upstream Tech and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to provide Lens, alongside remote monitoring training led by the Upstream Tech team, to FLP partners at 17 state agencies across the country. During the first two years of the pilot, these 17 state agencies leveraged Lens to augment on-the-ground annual monitoring across 2.2 million acres of privately-held forestland under conservation easements through the Forest Legacy Program.
The pilot has yielded positive results in improved efficiency and effectiveness of the monitoring conducted for many states. Participating states reported an increase in the percentage of each Forest Legacy property able to be directly observed, a decrease in the total miles traveled for monitoring with the addition of remote data resources, and an anticipated decrease in total monitoring time and cost once training was completed. This increased efficiency of annual monitoring ensures that the conservation values of those lands are protected and frees up state agencies’ time to focus on developing new projects, working on forestland restoration, and all of the many other important tasks they undertake each year.
Leveraging the new grant funding provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Upstream Tech will support 25 partner state agencies in their use of Lens for monitoring their Forest Legacy Program holdings via access to the platform and regular remote monitoring training. Regular group trainings from Upstream Tech will help build a shared-learning community around remote monitoring, with state agencies from different regions across the country exploring innovative remote monitoring techniques together as a cohort and collaborating to improve their monitoring practices.
“We’re thrilled to have been granted funds to continue our mutually-beneficial partnership with the US Forest Service and 25 state agencies across the country to improve monitoring outcomes across the millions of acres of critical forestland protected by the Forest Legacy Program. Not only do we feel this pilot partnership is having a positive environmental impact by improving monitoring outcomes on conserved forestland, we are also excited to support the efficiency gains that free up agency partners’ time and money — it really is a win-win for all involved and we commend the US Forest Service for continuing to support new innovations like remote monitoring with Lens,” said Eve Boyce, Director of Growth & Partnerships for Lens.
To learn more about Lens and how it supports a variety of forest monitoring operations, contact our Growth & Partnerships team.
Upstream Tech is a mission-driven tech company. Our software products make cutting-edge remote sensing and machine learning technology accessible and easy to use, in order to accelerate the pace, scale, and impact of environmental work around the globe. Lens is a digital MRV platform that makes it easy to turn remote sensing data into decisions. Lens is used by over 170 organizations who are planning and monitoring conservation easements, restoration projects, forest operations, and nature-based investments.
The Forest Legacy Program is a land conservation program administered by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with State agencies to protect privately owned forest land threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. Through the FLP, State and Federal agencies, local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and landowners work toward shared conservation objectives to preserve the public benefits of privately owned forest land.