Early Warning System
Title VI of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 specified the development of “...a comprehensive early warning system for potential catastrophic environmental threats to forests...” The Early Warning System will identify potential threats, detect actual threats, assess impacts, and respond by coordinating the efforts of various programs, agencies, organizations and sources of information. The two Threat Assessment Centers will help to meet the goals of HFRA. The Centers will generate new information, integrate existing knowledge and predict where potential and existing environmental threats might occur. These Centers will be jointly funded and operated by National Forest System, State and Private Forestry and Research and Development. The Center at Asheville is administered by the Southern Research Station and the Center at Prineville is administered by the Pacific Northwest Research Station.
- In 2004, a Forest Service team developed a preliminary roadmap to the development of the Early Warning System and documented their work in The Early Warning System for Forest Health Threats in the United States (1MB PDF).
- Forest Health Protection assembled a 13-member technical steering committee of representatives from key partner agencies to develop an action plan identifying direction and needs for the Early Warning System.
- The Forest Service is establishing two Threat Assessment Centers for forest health threats, one in the East, in Asheville, NC, and one in the West, in Prineville, OR.
- Charters describing the Centers’ mission, activities and organization have been developed and staffing has begun.
- Each Center’s annual operating expenses are estimated to be $2.4 million.
- The Centers will work in cooperation with NASA, the Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Applications Center, the Forest Service’s Forest Health Monitoring Program and others.
Download The Early Warning System for Forest Health Threats in the United States (1MB PDF)