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Individual Highlight

Tracking Trends in the Nation’s Forest Research Capacity

Photo of Forest researchers tour H.J.Andrews Experimental Forest, in Blue River, Oregon, to learn and exchange ideas about the research and development conducted on the forest. 
Forest researchers tour H.J.Andrews Experimental Forest, in Blue River, Oregon, to learn and exchange ideas about the research and development conducted on the forest. Snapshot : Collaboration and partnerships across public and private sectors are increasingly important as national-level forest research capacity decreases in terms of personnel levels and overall funding.  

Principal Investigators(s) :
McGinley, Kathleen 
Research Location : United States
Research Station : International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF)
Year : 2019
Highlight ID : 1528

Summary

USDA Forest Service researchers analyzed current trends in the nation's forest-sector research capacity in terms of funding and personnel, and the implications for future forest use and conservation. They found that total funding for forest and forest-products research and development from major sources totaled about $598 million in 2015, a nominal increase over 2002, but a decrease when accounting for inflation.  Forest and forest-products professors at university programs accredited by Society of American Foresters, research scientists at the Forest Service, and forest industry researchers totaled 1,764 in 2016, a decrease of about 12 percent since 2002.  These trends indicate a decline in the nation's forest sector research capacity at a time when forest owners and managers are addressing increasingly complex issues, including increases in the occurrence and severity of fires, disease, and other disturbances; competing objectives for forest goods and services; declining markets for timber and nontimber commodities; and, even weaker markets for ecosystem services. Enhanced and targeted forest research collaboration and partnerships among public, private, and civil society actors will be increasingly important, not only to maintain current forest sector competences but to foster innovativeness necessary for supporting forest-dependent communities and enhancing future forest commodity and ecosystem service values. 

Additional Resources

Forest Sector Research and Development Capacity(publication)

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • North Carolina State University, Society of American Foresters?