forest_ag_graySIG can answer simple to complex forest management questions by drawing on the expertise of our foresters, spatial analysts, wildlife biologists, and natural resource economists. We work with our clients to develop management strategies that integrate multiple goals and regulatory considerations, such as, optimizing timber production, ecosystem service values, forest biomass, water quality, carbon sequestration, wildfire hazard reduction, and wildlife habitat as factors into our assessments. We specialize in the following areas:

Biomass, Bioenergy and Forest Product Assessment

SIG’s services include life cycle assessments of woody biomass material sourced from forests, forest products manufacturing, waste wood recovery, and agricultural operations. SIG can deliver biomass fuels availability assessment and procurement plans as well as quantification of the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions resulting from the usage of forest-derived fuels and products compared to fossil-derived fuels (e.g., liquid transportation fuels, regional electricity mix) and products (e.g., building materials). We offer the following services:

  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCA): cradle-to-grave analysis (biogenic and fossil carbon)
  • Bioenergy supply assessments
  • Biogenic carbon and greenhouse gas accounting frameworks and protocols
  • Integrated assessments of bioenergy plant impacts to ecosystem services/natural infrastructure (water, wildlife, carbon, pollination)

Forest Economics

Starting with our expertise in forest inventory design, tree growth simulation and harvest scheduling, we can estimate yields for multiple resources including timber, biomass, and carbon. We use spatially-explicit datasets to develop economic valuation models on a wide variety of forestry-related revenue streams, including carbon, water, wood products, biomass energy, and other ecosystem service values. SIG’s financial models assist in identifying economic and environmental consequences of different management scenarios, and can provide an assessment of the commercial viability of business and investment proposals. We also offer:

  • Net Present Value (NPV) modeling
  • High precision agricultural/forestry practices
  • Timber management — growth and yield & optimization modeling

Forest Sustainability Assessments and Certification

SIG’s expertise includes developing sustainability frameworks for supply chains that include forests. We can quantify management options or product pathways against such frameworks to evaluate sustainability risk and mitigation options. We advise in third-party forest certification and provide technical expertise in renewable energy portfolio standard development and performance. SIG also has a track record of working with a diverse set of stakeholders in the US and abroad to develop criteria and indicator frameworks that measure forest sustainability and alternative energy systems. We have expertise in the following:

  • Criteria and indicator monitoring frameworks
  • Monitoring and verification—voluntary sustainable forestry certification
  • Modeling of land use dynamics as it relates to alternative land
  • management policy scenarios
  • Restoration planning

Forest Inventory and Biometrics

In addition to the preparation of timber harvest plans, we offer a full range of research-grade forest mensuration services that provide the baseline information needed to for sound forest stewardship, including:

  • Timber inventory – design and field implementation
  • Pre- and post-treatment inventory and assessment
  • Model validation and ground truthing
  • Stem mapping
  • Spatial characterization of spatial patterns of trees
  • Imagery ground truthing
  • Fire History Sampling and dendrochronology
  • Tree coring, core mounting, and tree-ring analysis
  • Fire scar sampling, finishing, and cross-dating
  • Distribution mapping and quantification of rare and endangered plant species, and invasive plant species
  • Foliar nutrient sampling and analysis

Wildlife Inventory, Monitoring and Vulnerability Assessments

Our wildlife biologists bring decades of real-world management and research experience to your project. We can serve all of you wildlife assessment needs, including:

  • Wildlife habitat mapping, habitat suitability modeling and connectivity evaluation
  • Wildlife survey, inventory and monitoring plan development
  • Modeling wildlife response to alternative land use and climate scenarios

Recent Projects – Forests & Agriculture

Forest Background

Effects of wild land fuel treatments located in the Highway 50 corridor in El Dorado County

Effects of wild land fuel treatments located in the Highway 50 corridor in El Dorado County on future wildfire size…
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TRPA Policy Assessment Services

For this project, SIG compiled a comprehensive database of every policy and regulation adopted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency…
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Waterfowl Habitat Condition Assessment

Waterfowl Habitat Condition Assessment

SIG’s wildlife biologists provided the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) with professional services for their Research and Analysis Division. Namely,…
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Case study for the EU’s new renewable energy directive – wood pellet export from the US to the EU

SIG supports Navigant, an EU based environmental consulting group, in developing a work process to implement the EU’s new renewable…
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Our Team – Forests & Agriculture

Thomas Buchholz

Thomas Buchholz, PhD

Service Area Lead


David Schmidt

Wildfire Modeler/Analyst

David Saah

David Saah, PhD

Managing Principal, Co-founder

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