Forest Health Monitoring
The USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) is a national program designed to determine the status, changes, and trends in indicators of forest condition on an annual basis. The FHM program uses data from ground plots and surveys, aerial surveys, and other biotic and abiotic data sources and develops analytical approaches to address forest health issues that affect the sustainability of forest ecosystems.FHM covers all forested lands through a partnership involving USDA Forest Service, State Foresters, and other state and federal agencies and academic groups.
Forest Health Mega-Regions reflect Forest Health Monitoring's focus on capturing and reporting forest health conditions on a widespread basis. The nation's forests are divided into the 5 Mega-Regions based on geographic and biological proximity. One State and one Federal forest health worker from each Mega-Region serves as a representative on the Forest Health Monitoring Management Team.
Major FHM activities:
- Detection Monitoring – nationally standardized aerial and ground surveys to evaluate status and change in condition of forest ecosystems.
- Evaluation Monitoring - projects to determine extent, severity, andcauses of undesirable changes in forest health identified through Detection Monitoring.
- Intensive Site Monitoring – to enhance understanding of cause-effect relationships by linking Detection Monitoring to ecosystem process studies and assess specific issues, such as calcium depletion and carbon sequestration, at multiple spatial scales.
- Research on Monitoring Techniques – to develop or improve indicators, monitoring systems, and analytical techniques, such as, urban and riparian forest health monitoring, early detection of invasive species, multivariate analyses of forest health indicators, and spatial scan statistics.
- Analysis and Reporting - synthesis of information from various data sources within and external to the Forest Service to produce issue-driven reports on status and change in forest health at National, Regional, and State levels.