Snowlands Network advocates the use of computer and other technological advancements to enhance the ability of the Forest Service to monitor snowmobile use, both legal and illegal. Remote sensing, data acquisition, and real-time notification of motor vehicle trespass can be accomplished using present day, readily-available technology. More can be done with less resources with a little up-front development.
The illegal use of motor vehicles on public lands, both summer and winter, is a growing national problem and is one of the “four threats” to forest health identified by the Forest Service. To that end, Snowlands cooperated with the Carson Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, in an application to the Forest Service's Remote Sensing Applications Center for the development of such a system. The project was not accepted, but Snowlands Network plans to proceed on its own when funds and volunteers are available.
The objectives of the project are to create a remote sensor package that:
- Detects the presence of a motor vehicle from up to one mile away.
- Stores a date and time stamped image of the vehicle.
- Sends the image via internet, or cellular or satellite phone, to a base of operation.
- Employs user friendly interface and includes a user manual.
- Operates for two weeks without maintenance, e.g. replacement of batteries.
- Operates in winter conditions.
- Entire system cost, hardware and software, of less than $5,000.