Forests at a Glance…
The Forest Resource
Arizona boasts a diverse forest resource, from the high plateaus in the north to the “sky islands” in the south. Ponderosa pine, mixed-conifer, and pinyon-juniper forests surround the Grand Canyon, which is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world. Near Tucson, one can take a 27-mile drive from valley to mountain top that crosses vegetation zones equivalent to those found driving from Mexico to Canada. Arizona’s forests include some areas, such as the “cypress thicket” that are unique to the state. Because Arizona forests have high scenic, habitat, watershed and timber values, it is important to track their condition.

Inventory and monitoring efforts conducted by USDA Forest Service present a systematic compilation of forest statistics of the state. For example, the graph here presents a breakdown of forest cover, or forest type, on all land ownerships. A report titled Arizona's Forest Resources, 1999, presents a summary of the most recent inventory data available for Arizona's forest lands. Beginning in 2001, Annual Inventories began in the state using a new sampling design called the mapped plot design.


Plot Status and Current Activity

Field crews collect data on Forest Inventory plots and Forest Health plots across Arizona annually. Field work begins in January and proceeds into the fall as plots are completed or weather permits.
Number of Plots by Plot Type
Annually, there are on average 450 Phase 2 (P2) plots and 25 Phase 3 (P3) plots in Arizona. Phase 3 plots are a subset of P2 plots. In addition to the variables taken on P2 plots, P3 plots collect additional data with an emphasis on forest health.
In addition to this site, other information related to Arizona forest conditions may be found on the websites of federal and state cooperators. Click on the icons below to see what our partners are up to…

USDA Forest Service in Arizona
Data and Table Access

You may find standardized summary tables by going to – Annual Tables. Customized data summaries are available through FIA data retrieval systems.

Other Arizona Reports
A record of previous statewide reporting efforts is shown in the table below. Note that other special reports, brochures, and data tables using FIA data, but not shown in the table, can be found in a comprehensive list at the Arizona’s Forest Resources link.
Previous Statewide Reports
Title / Link Reference Number *
2002 1999 Arizona's Forest Resources, 1999 Resource Bulletin RMRS-RB-2
1990 1985 Arizona's Forest Resources Resource Bulletin INT-69
1966 1962 Arizona's Forests Resource Bulletin INT-6
* USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station publication numbers are shown here. Over the years the name of the Research Station has changed. Previously it was named the Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station or the Intermountain Research Station, hence the initials INT in the report number.
Inventory and Monitoring Information

For specific questions related to field procedures, current and past field manuals are available online. These manuals describe the details of plot establishment and description, forest inventory methods, and procedures used for each forest health indicator. Websites for forest health indicators give rationale for the indicator, as well as access to data, analytical procedures, and related publications.

For clients with a general interest in inventory and monitoring work elsewhere, we have compiled a short list of Inventory and Monitoring On the Web. This list comprises agencies and entities with related interests in forest monitoring at various geographic scales, both within the U.S. and internationally, plus some recommended publications for those with a more technical interest in this subject.

O'Brien, R.A. 2002. Arizona's Forest Resources, 1999. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Resource Bulletin RMRS-RB-2.

Conner, R.C., A.W. Green, J.D. Born and R.A. O'Brien. 1990. Arizona's Forest Resources. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Resource Bulletin INT-69.

Spencer, J.S., Jr. 1966. Arizona's Forests. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Resource Bulletin INT-6.
Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis
Michael Wilson, Program Manager
USDA Forest Service
507 25 th St.
Ogden, Utah 84401
(801) 625-5407