Forest Inventory and Analysis is Coming to a City Near You
The Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) is traveling to the city. For many years, FIA has only measured information on trees in areas that meet its definition of forest; generally speaking, groups of naturally growing trees in areas that meet specific size requirements. Now, however, FIA has established a national urban forest inventory program and has begun monitoring in urban areas, focusing on the most populous cities. Using its suitcase of inventory methods, database and reporting tools, and statistical techniques including i-Tree software tools that quantify ecosystem services, FIA is now monitoring the urban tree resource. By doing this, FIA fulfills its goal of making more comprehensive reports on the status and trends of the nation’s forests and trees. FIA, working with state and local partners including Texas A&M Forest Service, reached an important milestone by completing its first urban inventory report for the city of Austin, Texas, and is collecting data and refining its data processing and reporting methods continuously. The ultimate goal of this effort is to have a seamless reporting system that uses the existing FIA protocols to provide new and valuable information on trees in these previously unmeasured areas.
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