Forest Health Protection’s mission is to protect and improve the health of America’s rural, wildland, and urban forests. We are part of the State and Private Forestry Deputy Area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. We have over 250 specialists in the areas of forest entomology, forest pathology, invasive plants, pesticide use, survey and monitoring, suppression and control, technology development, and other forest health-related services. Our staffs are located in Forest Service National Headquarters, all Regional Offices, the Northeastern Area Office, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, and over 25 field offices.
What We Do
Forest Health Protection provides technical assistance on forest health-related matters, particularly those related to disturbance agents such as native and non-native insects, pathogens, and invasive plants. We value and work through partnerships across lands of all ownerships. We work closely with land managers and resource staff with the National Forest System, the Department of the Interior, Department of Defense, other federal agencies, Tribes, all 50 States, U.S. Territories, universities, private landowners and other countries.
We provide forest insect, disease and invasive plant survey and monitoring information, and technical and financial assistance to prevent, suppress and control outbreaks threatening forest resources. We help to maintain, enhance, and restore healthy forest conditions and look for links between changing climate and pest conditions. We provide specialized assistance to incorporate disturbance considerations in forest plan and decisions.
Our Forest Health Management programs and services direct and implement measures to prevent, slow, or suppress unwanted native and nonnative insects, pathogens, and plants affecting trees and forests. We also provide technical assistance and share forest health technologies worldwide on various techniques available to maintain healthy forests.
Our Forest Health Monitoring program studies the forests of the United States to identify detrimental changes or improvements in forest health occurring over time, and provides annual reports of such monitoring.
Our Pesticide Use Management program provides technical information, advice, and training in managing and coordinating the use of pesticides in forest integrated pest management programs. It also maintains records of pesticide use on National Forest system lands, and prepares human health and ecological risk assessments for a variety of chemical and biological pest management tools.
Our Technology Development program, through the Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, develops leading-edge technologies that help us and our many partners carry out forest health protection work with more accuracy and cost efficiency. We work closely with USDA Animal and Plant Health inspection Service to detect introductions of new forest pests into the States and eradication of introductions that pose significant threats to forest resources.