07 Nov Trail Counters at the Huron-Manistee National Forest
It is Asael from the Huron-Manistee National Forest. I have had the pleasure of learning a multitude of things here at this great forest, but a project that I am actively playing a role in would be our trail counter data collection. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of said counters for their safety (very expensive equipment) but I can talk more about them!
We are using TRAFx equipment to collect, retrieve, and manage data. These trail counters that can be found within some parts of the Huron-Manistee National Forest use an infrared scope to detect changes within their view. Many people might confuse these scopes for a camera, but they are not capturing or recording images. Any significant change records itself as a count, or interaction, for our data. It can capture hikers, joggers, cyclists, horseback riders, snowmobiles, and the occasional large mammal.
In the Cadillac-Manistee Ranger Station I was tasked with learning the equipment and teaching my coworkers how retrieve, collect, and manage the data both at a software and hardware level. I would like to admit I did a fairly good job and that we have qualified individuals to use the equipment. I have worked with this type of equipment before, but the major difference was that the equipment I knew utilized actual cameras, not an infrared scope. However, three different manuals and a few YouTube videos, and some of Travis’ help made me an expert in this field.