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Color aerial photography for North Dakota

You may have heard by now that there will not be any National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) color aerial photos collected in North Dakota this year. We have been fortunate to have been able to obtain this data from 2003 through 2006 with two of those years being 1-meter resolution and the other two being 2-meter. Due to federal budget restraints NAIP will NOT be collected in North Dakota until 2010 at the earliest, assuming status quo of things at the federal level. A federal agency could step in to change this and/or Imagery For the Nation could become a reality, but none of that is guaranteed at this time.

However, our state does have a chance to obtain 1-meter NAIP color photography in 2008 if we can financially partner with the USDA-Farm Service Agency. Recent correspondence with the USDA-FSA indicates they believe they will receive about 1/2 the funding needed to fly all states in the lower 48 in 2008. The states that they will fly in 2008 will be based on a number of priorities such as 1) states that are due to receive 1-meter imagery and will provide funding assistance, 2) states that are up for 1-meter imagery but don't have funding assistance, and 3) states that are not up for 1-meter imagery but can contribute financially. North Dakota could be in this third group. (There is also a 4th group, if there are some funds left, some states might get 2-meter imagery).

If a consortium of various governmental, tribal, educational, and private entities in North Dakota can come up with about $350,000 by December 2007 at the very latest (sooner would be best) we stand a good chance of getting that much needed NAIP color imagery for our state. No guarantees but considering we all use and like this color photography so much, it's a chance we should take.

The ND GIS Technical Committee (GISTC) should be able to contribute some funds towards this project, and perhaps some state agencies could contribute additional funds. The GISTC needs to know who within the state who would be able to contribute towards the goal of $350,000. Every bit would help, whether it's $1,000 or $100,000. The GISTC will manage this project with the state working with the USDA-FSA on behalf of the funding partners. If we are successful, the data will be made available for download and as web services.

The GISTC wants to start adding up the contributions and if we are in the ballpark, then we will submit documentation to the USDA-FSA noting our plans for financial assistance and desire for this data. Then we'll go from there, crossing our fingers we can make this happen.

So, please give this some serious consideration and then let us know how much you think your organization could provide to this project. Please contact Bob Nutsch at 701-328-3212 or bnutsch@nd.gov for more information or your possible contribution.

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