Maine Rangers Using Technology To Update Foliage Levels 

These personal data assistants, or PDA’s, were originally given to Maine Forest Rangers to help during natural disasters. According to Ranger Dustin pickering the PDA’s also help rangers during their normal daily inspections. “If we’re driving down the road and see a pile of brush next to the road or under some power lines in a hazardous area or grass growing next to railroad tracks that could catch fire, we could take a picture, get the gps coordinates and we can send it to our database, which sends it on to the land owner so the landowner knows how to fix the problem and what exactly needs to be fixed,” says Pickering.The PDA’s are now being used to help rangers almost instantaneously update which areas of the state have reached peak foliage, taking the guess work out for leaf peepers. “We take a picture, type in the GPS coordinates, we type in what town we’re in,and we type in the percentage that the leaves have changed color and also the percentage of leaves that have dropped and immediately send it to our data base which goes onto our website,” says Pickering.So what part of the state is peaking now? “Greenville is just now coming into it’s peak,” says Pickering, “if you were to draw a band right across the state about the height of Greenville and Millinocket, that’s probably the best right now.”