Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2015 Vol. 62 No. 6

Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links

NOAA Planes Get Significant Upgrades
NOAA’s two Lockheed WP-3D Orion aircraft recently entered a long-term maintenance period at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville. The aircraft will receive new wings and significant additional upgrades as part of a service life extension program that will allow the WP-3D Orion aircraft to continue supporting all of NOAA’s critical missions for years to come. The process will take approximately one year and once completed, NOAA’s second WP-3D will enter its own re-winging and upgrade maintenance period in 2016.

The two planes have flown into storms every hurricane season for nearly four decades, collecting research and forecasting data to transmit back to the mainland.

While the planes are routinely maintained, this is the first big overhaul in more than a decade.

The planes are also receiving upgraded radar in the tail, fuselage and nose. During a storm, researchers and forecasters use the radar and other instruments to measure a storm's track and strength.

Last year, for the first time the U.S. launched unmanned aircraft in Hurricane Edouard to collect data.

Texas A&M Forest Service
Plan My Land Operation Online Tool Now Available
May 13, 2015—COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Want to put in a road on your land? Protect your water resources? Enhance wildlife, harvest trees or clear vegetation? Texas A&M Forest Service’s newest online tool, Plan My Land Operation, is designed to help you protect your property and ensure sustainability as you begin your next land improvement project.

Geared toward landowners, contractors and land managers, Plan My Land Operation is key to planning any improvement to your land. This tool helps you plan and layout your project based on your specific terrain, soil and water resources. As a user, you can quickly map a property boundary, identify sensitive areas, place a buffer around critical features, and determine things needed like the proper size culvert.

“Planning any land operation is a critical first step to protecting your land and water resources. Without a good operational plan, your land may be at risk,” Hughes Simpson, program coordinator for Texas A&M Forest Service said.

As a service-based state agency, TFS strives to provide land managers advanced tools to help efficiently and effectively implement land operations.

“Ordinarily, in order to do something like this you need an extensive GIS system or to be a land operation expert. Now, anyone with access to the Internet can map their property and generate detailed operation planning reports,” Simpson said.

A unique feature of the Plan My Land Operation tool is that it is also useful to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Users can map out their trail and it will show the distance, elevation and slope of that trail. While full capability of the tool is statewide, this function is available nationwide.

Plan My Land Operation is the newest online tool added to an already extensive lineup of interactive online tools located at texasforestinfo.com. This website provides landowners, managers, government officials, local community groups and the public state-of-the-art access to custom Web mapping applications with capabilities to discover and explore an array of maps depicting forest conditions, and query and download data on a variety of forest interests.

Hughes Simpson, Program Coordinator
Texas A&M Forest Service

Brooke Catalena, Communications Specialist
Texas A&M Forest Service

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