The roots of CAGYM lie in the Redwood Yield coop and Northern California Forest Yield Cooperative (NCFYC). These co-ops were initiated by interested California professional foresters and funded by California’s forest products industry for the purpose of developing a better understanding of the growth and yield of California’s managed timberlands.
The research was conducted under the leadership of Professor Lee C. Wensel of the University of California at Berkeley, and utilized a collaborative, cooperative organizational structure involving academia, the forest industry, and forestry professionals to create a substantial and important body of work on the mensuration, individual tree growth, and stand growth and yield of California’s redwood and mixed-conifer forests.
Among the more important products of this research were two forest growth and yield computer models: CRYPTOS andCACTOS. Both programs utilize individual tree-based, distance independent models, where the growth increment of each forest stand is estimated as the sum of the increments on individual trees minus estimates of mortality. CRYPTOS is an acronym for the Cooperative Redwood Yield Project’s Timber Output Simulator, which was released in 1982. CACTOS is an acronym for The CAlifornia Conifer Timber Output Simulator and was released in 1984. Both computer programs provide the user with accurate predictions of forest growth and yield under a fairly wide set of user-determined assumptions and constraints. Subsequent releases of both programs, as well as releases of a variety of utility computer programs, provided corrections, improvements to functionality and increased capabilities. However, widespread utility by forestry and other interested professionals has been limited by the difficult-to-use and now anachronistic DOS command line interface required to use the programs.
A key impetus to the formation of CAGYM was the desire on the part of consulting foresters and California’s forest products industry to create a Windows™ interface for the use of CRYPTOS and CACTOS to model forest growth and yield, particularly for the development of forest projects under California’s Non-industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) permit. By 2007 CAGYM had raised over $100,000.00 in membership donations for the purpose of developing a Windows™ based computer program: FORSEE(FORest and Stand Evaluation Environment).
In 2006 CAGYM contracted with Dr. Bruce Krumland (the original developer of CRYPTOS) to develop FORSEE. FORSEE is an acronym for the FORest and Stand Evaluation Environment and the beta version was released to the coop membership in 2008.
CAGYM continues to develop additional funding sources for improvements toFORSEE, as well as for additional research on modeling growth & yield, and more accurate characterization of California’s forests. CAGYM projects planned and under development are:
- Updating and/or replacing existing CA forest growth models, including developing regional variants. The growth & yield characteristics of Giant Sequoia will be included.
- Develop a California Mensuration Database containing all available historic and contemporary forest growth & yield data compiled into a common data format.
- Develop whole-tree Carbon/biomass equations for FORSEE.
- Develop additional Volume/Taper Equations for FORSEE.
- Develop a simplistic generic taper system that can be used for both tree volumes and log volumes based on modified cubic spline interpolants (Akima’s method).
- Define consistent protocols for measuring and calculating Carbon/biomass for large woody debris (LWD) and standing snags.
- Develop and refine habitat classification within FORSEE.