Three key user groups – The Nature Conservancy the U.S. Forest Service and the LANDFIRE project – have joined forces to support the development of a common approach for running state and transition models across a landscape. The result of this combined effort is a new generic state-and-transition modeling platform, referred to as the Path Landscape Model, capable of supporting the needs of multiple user groups. The Path Landscape Model has been developed jointly by Apex Resource Management Solutions and ESSA, and continues to be updated and improved.

The purpose of this vegetation modeling tool is to assist land managers in predicting how vegetation may change over time, in response to possible future natural processes and anthropogenic activities, as part of landscape-level ecological restoration and planning.

The tool uses state-and-transition models, such as those developed using the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT), to simulate vegetation conditions on a landscape into the future by considering the interaction between succession, unplanned disturbance and planned actions.