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Inventory and Monitoring

FIA logo and footpring of the Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis Program

Inventory & Monitoring Program

The Inventory & Monitoring Program provides the data, analysis, and tools needed to effectively identify current status and trends for forests, including the effects of various management options and the threats and impacts that fire, insects, disease, and other natural processes pose.
FIA field person sampling down woody material – one component of biomass estimates

Putting annual forest inventories in a historical context

We have shifted from a periodic inventory to an annual inventory. Annual inventory employs a sample design that is spatially and temporally balanced, while periodic inventory was often biased toward certain ownership groups or forest types. Studies suggest unbalanced design periodic inventory led to overestimation of forest biomass.
Clearcut forest

A 25-year history of forest disturbance and cause in the United States

Understanding trends in forest disturbance caused by fire, harvest, stress, weather and conversion is important for forest management decisions and scientific investigations. The North American Forest Dynamics project has processed historic Landsat data to provide a comprehensive annual, wall-to-wall analysis of US disturbance history over the last 25+ years.
Plots measured during two forest inventory periods showed inconsistencies in sample locations.

Disentangling forest change from forest inventory change

Users of long-term trend data implicitly assume that the data are comparable over time. What happens to the trend when there is a change in inventory designs? How comparable are estimates of forest attributes produced by historic forest inventories to those of the current inventory?
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The Inventory & Monitoring Program provides the data, analysis, and tools needed to effectively identify current status and trends for forests, including the effects of various management options and the threats and impacts of fire, insects, disease, and other natural processes.

The Inventory & Monitoring Program conducts and continuously updates a comprehensive inventory and analysis of present and prospective conditions of the forest and rangelands of the Interior West. Specific objectives of the Program are to:

  • Collect and disseminate information about the forests of the Interior West States relating to forest distribution, condition, health and utilization;

  • Develop innovative methods for sampling and integrating inventory data with remotely sensed information;

  • Maintain a database of up-to-date statistics in order to provide resource information to the Forest Service, its cooperators, other public agencies, and the public at large; and

  • Develop methods and procedures to test and evaluate indicators for assessing rangeland status and health.