What is it?
A series of permanent plots for the purpose of data collection and monitoring of pest trends, behavior and impacts in diverse forest types and a variety of environmental conditions over time.
Where are the plots located?
PTIPS was initiated in the west, so the majority of plots are located throughout Regions 1-6 and 10. In the past few years the program has grown to include the south and northeastern area.
Are the plots located on a grid?
Are they all on National Forest land?
No, they can be found on a wide array of ownerships, land allocations, and forest types.
What does permanent plot data provide?
- Model validation and calibration data
- Biological information to support or revise on-the-ground management recommendations
- Answers to a wide array of questions posed to technical experts
- Input to emerging issues
- Multi-pest interaction
Where is PTIPS data stored?
The original plan was to develop a database for the purpose of storing, sharing and retrieving PTIPS information. As development efforts progressed, it became clear that there were overlapping efforts between FHP and Timber Management. Both groups were in need of a database structure for historical tree data. Cooperative efforts eventually led to a nationally supported module within NRIS called FSVeg that structurally supports timber stand inventory as well as permanent plot data.
How far back does the data go?
There have been plots incorporated into PTIPS that were established between 1949 and 1951 in central and northern California for white pine blister rust.
Has the data been used to validate or calibrate models?
Yes. The western spruce budworm dataset was used to modify equations within the model currently in revision. Plot data was the basis for changing several of the original equations in the Western Root Disease Model. Permanent plots in California fir stands and plot data from Montana and Idaho have been used to validate and calibrate the Western Root Disease Model v.3.
What other purposes have come from PTIPS besides model usage?
One of the most important has been biological information necessary to support or revise on-the-ground management recommendations. The permanent plot information has allowed technical experts to respond to a wide array of questions and to provide input on emerging issues such as fire's relationship with insects and pathogens. Permanent plot data has provided baseline data for project-level planning, in support of area-wide Forest Health Analysis, monitoring of watershed restoration projects, and training sites for Districts.
What are the various insects and pathogens included within PTIPS?
Plot systems that have benefited from the PITPS program include western spruce budworm damage, Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation, laminated root rot, Armillaria root disease, black stain root disease, several species of dwarf mistletoe, white pine blister rust in western white pine and sugar pine, Commandra rust, sub-Alpine fir, spruce beetle, jack pine budworm, pitch canker, and southern pine beetle.
What is the process for receiving funding?
Once a year a call letter is sent out to the Regional PTIPS coordinators and directors requesting progress reports and funding needs for the upcoming fiscal year. The coordinators gather the information for the region and submit the compiled report to FHTET. If the funding requests are over the program allotted amount, the coordinators decide how the money is distributed.
Can anyone submit a request for PTIPS funding?
Cooperators for data collection have included University, Research, USFS, USEPA, BIA, National Parks, and State Departments. The proposals must be submitted through the Forest Health Protection regional PTIPS coordinator.