Forest Monitoring & Assessment

Background 

The USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database is the most important source of information on forest condition in the United States and is useful for many purposes (e.g., monitoring carbon). Therefore, it is important for NCASI to maintain a capability to use FIA data, to develop an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the FIA program, and to communicate to the FIA program the importance to industry of timely, accurate, and nationally compatible data.

Because other monitoring technologies such as remote sensing imagery and LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) may provide equivalent information as more labor-intensive methods, it also may serve the interests of member companies for NCASI to be familiar with these technologies and to participate in relevant research. There also is a need for NCASI to develop on-line software to facilitate 1605b reporting and to promote consideration for industry needs as 1605b reporting tools are developed.

Goal 

Maintain expertise related to FIA data and policy issues and an awareness of evolving technologies that may be useful for forest monitoring.

Examples of Recent or Ongoing Tasks 

  • Support for Biometrics Working Group – This task provides support for the Biometrics Working Group, which advises the NCASI membership on issues related to forest measurements and monitoring, particularly the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program. The BWG functions as a subcommittee of NCASI's Sustainable Forestry and Eastern Wildlife Task Group. 
  • Growth Projections for SOLE – This task is developing a module for the Southern On-line Estimator to project forest growth which would help users conduct wood supply studies and would facilitate compliance with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (Performance Measure 9.2).

More details about these and other tasks can be found elsewhere on the NCASI website. For more information about the NCASI Sustainable Forestry and Eastern Wildlife Program, contact Dr. Ben Wigley at bwigley@ncasi.org.