PORTLAND, Ore. December 3, 2008. The first
5-year forest inventory report for California’s private and
public lands is now available to the public: California’s
Forest Resources, 2001-2005: Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis
Here are some key findings from the report:
- Forests cover about a third of the state’s 100 million
acres;19 million acres is publicly managed.
- Houses built in
the wildland-urban interface account for most of the housing
growth in the state over the last 10 years implying
that forest managers will be tasked with fire hazard reduction,
prevention, and suppression on an increasing area.
diseases, air pollution, and fire shape the forested California
landscape. More than 200,000 forested acres burned on average
annually between 2001 and 2005.
- Modeling crown fire potential under extreme
weather conditions showed that fire would occur as a surface
surface fire in 72 percent of forests, and as a passive crown fire in
only 20 percent of forests.
- In most cases, fuel treatment may require only
the removal of ladder fuels (smaller diameter trees) rather than
trees in the upper canopy.
- The capacity of wood-using bioenergy facilities has
increased resulting in California facilities being able to generate
megawatts of electricity.
- Carbon storage for live and dead trees, and downed wood
are highest in redwood and Douglas-fir forest types when evaluated
a per-acre basis.
- More than 13 million acres of forest land is privately held;
about 5 million acres is owned by industry, and 7 percent of
acreage is managed by a timber investment management organization (TIMO)
or real-estate investment trust (REIT) which may manage the
land for a variety of investment purposes.
The data from the FIA reports are used
by state, federal, and private land managers, investors, and
others for a variety
including the assessment of fuels and potential fire hazard,
biomass and carbon storage, the effects of insects and disease,
and mortality, wildlife habitat, plant diversity, and the
supply of goods and services.
Since the 1930s, the U.S. Forest Service has conducted
inventories of private lands throughout the United States. In the
days, inventories focused primarily on trees: how much timber
there? Today’s inventory is still about measuring and
counting trees, but it also accounts for understory vegetation,
material, lichens, damage caused by insects and disease,
Whereas the original inventory design produced resource
bulletins about every 10 to 12 years from data collected
over a 2-
to 3-year period, today’s
inventory in the Western United States is conducted on a 10-year cycle
where 1/10 of the field plots are measured annually on public
and private forest
land. Data are now posted each year and summary reports are issued every
The frequency was directed by Congress through language
in the 1998 Farm Bill, according to ecologist Joseph Donnegan,
editor of the Oregon
and a member of the PNW Research Station’s Forest Inventory and
Analysis (FIA) Program.
“ Instead of the 10-year timber reports we used to produce, we now post
data annually and write a report every 5 years that covers a much broader range
of topics that regularly appear in the news. The idea was not only to provide
data on an annual basis, but to be nationally consistent in how we conduct inventory
and monitoring. Previously, different FIA regions were using different methodologies,” explains
Donnegan. “The results were specific for that region or part of the country,
but comparisons and analyses weren’t easily made owing to the variety
of techniques used. The national Forest Inventory and Analysis Program
standard measurement and analysis techniques.”
Standardization and the move to annual data availability occurred through
the efforts of client input via blue-ribbon panels. Congress responded
Bill directives and by allocating partial funding to begin progress
toward a Forest Inventory and Analysis system that is national in scope.
California report was produced by the Pacific Northwest FIA Program
which conducts forest inventories in Alaska, California, Oregon,
and the Pacific Islands.
There are four FIA Programs in the research
branch of the U.S. Forest Service: the Pacific Northwest, Interior
West, Northern, and Southern.
of each of the programs is to provide information on the status and
trend in our
Nation’s forests to resource managers, scientists, conservationists,
investors, and the public.
The technical editors of California’s
Forest Resources, 2001-2005:Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis
Report are Glenn
Christensen, Sally Campbell, and Jeremy Fried. Read it online
For more information
about the national Forest Inventory and
Analysis Program visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fia/.
Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has
11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and
Washington and about 500 employees.