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Inventory & Cruising Newsletter

Contact Us at: info@john-bell-associates.com

[What's New]

Announcing the 2020 Variable Probability Sampling Workshop
March 23 - 27, 2020
Oregon State University

The Variable Probability Sampling course is offered as a service to foresters. Two popular methods of timber cruising will be covered in detail: variable-plot sampling and 3-P sampling (Probability, Proportional to Prediction). The course is suitable for relative beginners as well as those with experience who like to brush up on the principles and up-to-date computation techniques using hand calculators and microcomputers. Field exercises using both techniques are an important part of the course.

We will post more information as it becomes available.

2019 Variable Probability Short Course

Here are the winners of the "best crew" for the Variable Plot and 3P field exercises.

Congratulations to the winners, and we hope all of you had an interesting time in Corvallis. We thank Jeff Penman for the photos and his help at the course.

Jim Kiser and Kim Iles

Variable Plot Winners
In the middle: Tyson Schoenmose, Deschutes National Forest and Brandon Austin, DNR Washington.


3P Winners
Luke Murphy, BLM,  Erica Bigio, University of Nevada, and Ben Pursley,Willamette NF.


Dan Clark, DNR, Most Helpful to the Class Winner



At age 93, John Bell has decided that it is time to turn over the short course at OSU to some younger instructors. This year was the 60th anniversary of the short course. People born that year are getting ready to retire.

When John and Lu Alexander started the course in 1957, they could hardly have imagined how long it would last. Since they doubled sessions in some years, there were 67 courses at OSU, and Kim Iles and John also put on more than 20 at various places around the world, totaling more than 2,000 timber cruisers attending.

There was a great crowd at the short course in this final year. Jim Kiser will be taking over the program chairmanship at OSU, and is well qualified to do it. He has lots of experience in practical work in forest inventory, and is a great teacher. The conference office at OSU has been wonderful to work with, and will continue to do the paperwork and site operations – probably at the OSU LaSells Stewart Center while the forestry building is under construction.

We hope that the course will continue to offer the same practical advice to future timber cruisers. If you want to email John, you can do so at jfredbell@gmail.com. If you have any comments about what should be changed or retained in the short course, we would be happy to hear such comments. We will have a lot to live up to.

Kim Iles, apprentice to John


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Forestry Field Reference Book

Jim Kiser (Instructor of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management at Oregon State University) has just published a handy forestry reference book. The book is distributed by John Bell and Associates. From the preface:

"the text is meant to serve as a reference for practicing foresters and other natural resource professionals who work with field measurements as a part of their job requirements. Although primarily focused on timber and timber stand, the book also serves for typical engineering of forest forad layout with an added section on curve layout formulas and tables. The intent of this book was not to provide an inclusive set of forester's tables, but to pull together the more common tables necessary to the day to day activities..."

Contact Jessica at: forestrybooks@gmail.com to acquire a copy of your own.


Book  of Interest

Kim Iles has published his third book, “The Retread, The Reject and the Tower Statistician”. 417 pages, bonded leather cover, $45 plus shipping. The style is very similar to his second book. The same “OH” character from the second book and the chapter six memos from his first book (Sampler of Inventory Topics) is continued. It has 61 short (4-5 pages) chapters, mostly about solutions to real problems with some practical psychology and statistical theory woven into them, with suggestions about professional development.

If you are interested, you can check out the details at his website : http://www.island.net/~kiles/

In regard to the Sampler of Inventory Topics many of you have received at the OSU short course:

Any errors that have been noted in the first two editions have all been updated and are on Kim’s website. When the Relascope spreadsheet was first done (with the first edition) there was a small error with some combinations of bars for the very first books sold. Kim tried to trace down all the owners who had that on their book CD, but if you own the first printing (grey color) download the one that has been here on the John Bell website for many years, and replace the one you have - just in case.


Items of Interest:


 Past Features & Information

 What's New (05/19/2019 )

The Statistics for Practical People Series
(Published April 1988 - October 1989)
Couldn't You Just Move the Edge Outward? (03/23/2019)
Our 3P Sampling Collection Is the Other Method Better? (03/23/2019)
 Is It True That... Our series addressing myths and other folklore about forest sampling. Locating the Center of a Borderline Tree (10/07/2018)
It's the People... Series Ken Brauner (06/10/2018)
The Compassman, The Nun, and the Steakhouse Statistician Things You Find in the Woods (06/10/2018)
Browse Our Newsletter Index Cruise Compilation Improvement (02/4/2018)
Western Mensurationists Trees that change category in nested plots (01/07/2018)
  The Moving of Plots -- and Detecting It (11/24/2017)
  "Double Sampling" - Some History and a Practical Extension (11/24/2017)
Downloads: What is the Approximate VBAR? What is its CV? (05/28/2017)
Cruise Planning -- The Sequence (05/28/2017)
The use of “Rectangular Grids” in sampling. (07/19/2016)

Some Important People in Our Profession

Walter Bitterlich
Walter Bitterlich
David Bruce
David Bruce
Frank Freese
Frank Freese
George Furnival
George Furnival
Lou Grosenbaugh
Lou Grosenbaugh
Ingvar Haglof
Ingvar Haglof
Benno Hesske
Benno Hesske
Bert Husch
Bert Husch

Updated 05/19/19