What’s in Rich’s Cruise Vest?
A DME is an electronic tool that foresters use to measure straight-line distances through brush or other ground covers from the hand-held unit to the transponder.
This tool uses sound waves, similar to how dolphins use echolocation, to gauge distances (as you can tell, my mind is currently on a tropical beach somewhere much warmer than in the sub-zero temperatures we have recently had in Northern Wisconsin). Using sound waves to measure distances alleviates the need for foresters to stretch a logger’s tape through thickets of dense vegetation when trying to use a clinometer or laser to measure tree heights.
This tool also has a built-in basal area factor. When using this function, if the forester cannot physically see the tree from the plot center through a prism or with an angle gauge, they can still easily determine whether a tree is “in” or “out” of their inventory plot.
-Rich Congdon, Real Estate Specialist/Assistant Analyst