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Land-Use Change

A farm field with forest in the distance. Pacific Northwest Forest Inventory and Analysis (PNW-FIA) investigates the effects of changes in land use on forest management and ecosystem services. The extent and distribution of forest land continues to shift in response to changes in land use legislation and the pressures of development.

PNW-FIA recently inventoried urban forests to assess their structure and function, as well as social and ecological values.

Recent Publications



  • Development zone

    This project looks at changes in land use and housing density, specifically, the effects of land use policies and impacts on forest management and ecosystem services.

  • Forest, farms, and people

    The Forest, Farms and People reports are a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Forestry and RMA researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station. These reports provide an on-going analysis of land use change on non-federal lands in Oregon since the 1970’s.

  • Urban forest inventory

    Urban forests, amongst which most of our populace live and work every day and the forests whose benefits are on the front line of service to people and communities, are not yet covered by a continuous monitoring system. Although there are many localized urban monitoring efforts, this lack of strategic-level coverage creates an information void that challenges the stewardship of our Nation’s overall forest landscape. PNW-FIA has collaborated with other Forest Service programs and state forestry agencies to conduct urban pilot inventories, assessing urban tree cover, carbon storage, energy cost mitigation, pollution reduction and other important factors.

  • Airborne imagery-based change assessment

    PNW-RMA researchers continue to track changes in land use and land cover for all 50 States. The goal is to identify the effects of regulations, management practices, and population growth on land use change and conversion of forests or agricultural land to non-agricultural uses.

Links to Partners