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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Handbooks and Guides


  • The Timber Cruising Handbook - link to the Forest Service Directives web page that includes links to Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 2409.12 chapters containing timber cruising standards and outline of the approved sample cruise methods used by the USDA Forest Service.
  • Virtual Boundary Desk Guide - Virtual boundaries are considered to be clearly identified cutting unit boundaries that are unpainted or otherwise unmarked on the ground. The Virtual Boundary Desk Guide provides guidance on how to utilize both types of virtual boundaries: discernable and geo-fence.
  • Other publications used to develop biomass (fuels loading) report in processing program:
    • Brown, James K. 1978. Weight and density of crowns of Rocky Mountain Conifers. USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap. INT-197, 56 p. Intermt. For. and Range Exp. Stn., Ogden, Utah.
    • Brown, James K. 1976. Predicting Crown Weights for 11 Rocky Mountain Conifers. Working part on Forest Biomass, Int. Union For. Res. Organ. Cong. June 22, 1976. Oslo, Norway, 13 p. Inter. For. and Range Exp. Stn., Ogden, Utah.
    • Brown, James K., Snell, J.A.Kendall, and Bunnell, David L. July 1977. Handbook for Predicting Slash Weight of Western Conifers. USDA For. Serv. GTR INT-37 Intermt. For. and Range Exp. Stn., Ogden, Utah.
    • Faurot, James L. November 1977. Estimating merchantable volume and stem residue in four timber species: Ponderosa pine, Lodgepole pine, Western larch, Douglas fir. USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap. INT-196, 55 p. Intermt. For. and Range Exp. Stn., Ogden, Utah.
    • Brown, James K. and Johnston, Cameron M. August 1976. Debris Prediction System. USDA For. Serv. INT-266 Intermt. For. and Range Exp. Stn., Ogden, Utah.
  • Elementary Forest Sampling (PDF, 07-09-2001, 7.0 MB) – Agriculture Handbook No. 232, US Dept. of Agriculture, USDA Forest Service, December 1962, reprinted, November 1976.
  • Statistical Techniques for Sampling and Monitoring Natural Resources (PDF) - Rocky Mountain Research Station publication.
  • A Handbook of Defect Estimators for Standing Timber (PDF, 50.7 MB) - this guide has descriptions and illustrations to help identify problems in trees with defects. Problems listed are those of forests in Utah, Idaho (south of the Salmon River), and eastern Oregon. The document's hyperlinked key and full color pictures are useful in easily identifying the defects.


Volume Estimation

Area Determination