They’re using personal data assistants, or PDAs, which allow them to collect foliage information and transmit it electronically to Department of Conservation headquarters right away.

The primary purpose of the devices is to gather information for risk assessments during emergencies and disasters. The Bangor Daily News reports the Maine Forest Service received the PDAs in April and used them during the spring flooding and the wildfire season.

It seemed a natural transition to adapt the technology to the annual foliage reports. The department worked with Global Relief Technologies, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based company that developed the technology, to adapt it to the collection of foliage information.

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