BpS - What We Did, What You Did, Why It Matters


BpS graphic


In late 2015, TNC's LF team began a three-year project to update and improve the Biophysical Settings (BpS) model set.

Two phases of the project have been completed, with a third coming in 2017:  

*     Cleaning: the models were moved from the VDDT format to ST-Sim, unmapped and duplicate models were removed, and a user-friendly description document was developed.

*     Updating: Over the 2016 calendar year, 8700+ BpS description documents were downloaded from the review site by local and regional experts, representing more than 95% of all BpS mapped by LF across the Continental US, Alaska and Hawai'i. Additionally, more than 75% of all BpS have been downloaded five or more times, and some more than 50 different times. These downloads increased user knowledge about LF and BpS, and ultimately generated several hundred local reviews for the TNC-LF Team to consider incorporating into the next delivered version of BpS models sometime in 2017.

*     Delivery: Slated for 2017. The models will support the LF 2015 Remap.


In 2016, the team marched through a year of webinars that reached nearly 800 practitioner-attendees across the country with targeted information about the review and its implications for their regions and nationally. Those webinars were recorded and are available on the LANDFIRE YouTube Channel. In addition, team members Jim Smith, Randy Swaty and Kori Blankenship offered one-on-one workshops and customized presentations through the year – and will continue to do so going forward. Ask us about it 


The quantitative models document the fundamental ecology of vegetation systems and help us understand complex ecological processes and relationships. They provide a shared understanding among collaborators, and offer a framework for designing and exploring alternative approaches to achieve management. The ultimate goal is that, by employing the best available science, land planners and ecologists are better able to make informed decisions and perform relevant research. 

BpS review/macro review and update is an ongoing project. Click here for more information and join the effort to improve LANDFIRE data and products.

FOOTNOTE:  Some areas still need review.  If you visit the BpS review progress map, you'll see where we most need your expert input. For example: many of the prairie and Appalachian BpSs are lacking review.  Check out the map and consider how you might contribute to the review.

As always, contact us if you want more information and/or if you'd like TNC-LANDFIRE team to present a customized webinar for you and your colleagues.