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Forest Management Service Center

About Us

The Forest Management Service Center (FMSC), located in Fort Collins, Colorado, is a sub-staff of the USDA Forest Service National Forest System Forest Management Staff, Washington Office. The FMSC is staffed with biometric and mensuration specialists possessing skills not available at most regional and forest level offices and is considered an extension of each region’s technical staff. The Service Center provides mensuration, statistical, modeling, biometric, sampling, and analysis skills to the Forest Service and also cooperates and works in partnership with other government agencies (federal, tribal, and state), research, colleges and universities, forest industry, consultants, and individuals in the United States and other countries.

Our Program Emphasis

We provide products and technical support for forest vegetation modeling and forest product measurement to the National Forests and our partners.

In the areas of forest biometrics and mensuration science, we provide:

  • Efficient, consistent, and practical tools for field use within a common framework
  • Technology transfer and support to field units through project-ready applications
  • Technical assistance for development and implementation of policy and handbook direction
  • Business support for the sale of forest products
  • Analyses for special projects

Our Programs and Services

Many of the functions served by the FMSC are in support of timber sale contracts or forest and project planning. We provide procedures, software applications, documentation, training, and support in two important areas:

  • Forest Products Measurement
    The Forest Products Measurement group coordinates biometric activities for the national forests supporting the Forest Service’s forest product sales program. Our primary responsibilities are developing and applying practical and efficient methods of timber cruising, scaling, volume estimation, and area determination that are accurate, consistent, and defensible.
  • Forest Vegetation Simulation (FVS)
    The Forest Vegetation Simulator is the USDA Forest Service’s nationally supported framework ensuring consistency among forests in vegetation growth and yield modeling. In addition to training and support, other responsibilities include adapting FVS to new areas, model maintenance, enhancement, testing, validation, and connection to other corporate software.


The FMSC was created as the Mensuration, Systems Development, and Data Processing Section in 1976 to support the technical and quantitative aspects of the National Forest System Timber Management Program. The name was changed in 1997 to better reflect Forest Service policy shifts on the approach to forest management, including a better understanding of composition, structure, and function in the management of the national forests. This shift led to creating partnerships with research and other groups to incorporate the role of disturbance agents (fire, insects, and disease), wildlife habitat, canopy cover, and structure, utilization of small diameter trees, biomass estimation, and carbon accounting. Today we continue to be a center of excellence for forest vegetation modeling and forest product measurements.

US Forest Service, FM
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop Code: 1103
Washington DC 20250-1103

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Last modified: Wednesday, 16-Nov-2011 17:01:43 CST