Forest Service R&D assesses the state of the Nationís forests through satellite technology in combination with field sampling. We provide information on urban tree canopy distribution, species composition and health, and urban tree benefits or ecosystem services. Long-term monitoring allows us to assess and predict changes in the urban forest resource over time.
National Monitoring & Assessments
Forest Service RPA Assessments report on the status and trends of the Nationís forest and range resources every ten years, looking 50 years into the future. The RPA program has included urban tree cover and urban ecosystem services in these national assessments since 2000.
The Forest Serviceís Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program has provided the Nationís forest census since 1930. A system of forest measurement field plots serves as the programís foundation. Annual forest data collection, analysis, and reporting provide critical information needed to assess the status, trends, and sustainability of the Nationís forests. In recognition of the importance of including urban forests in the nationís forest census, the FIA program is working towards a systematic approach for collecting and reporting data on the status and trends of urban trees and forests. The new Urban FIA complements existing regional and local efforts to provide a cohesive picture of urban forest conditions in the U.S.
State & Local Assessments
The Forest Service provides data on U.S. urban forests at state, county, and sub-county levels. Summary reports can be used to:
- Identify trends in urbanization and the growth and decline of urban forests.
- Determine priority areas for urban reforestation.
- Quantify ecosystem services that urban forests provide, such as carbon sequestration and stormwater management.
- Support urban and community forest management and green infrastructure planning.