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pictures of pine needles, tree bark, moths, and a wildfire

Overview

Wildland ecosystems of the western United States are facing a variety of threats, including:

  • Changing climatic conditions
  • Drought
  • Insect and disease outbreaks
  • Invasive species
  • Wildfire

At the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, we work with our partners in research and land management to monitor and assess these threats, synthesize the latest understanding of their causes and implications, and develop tools and applications to help agencies, communities, and individuals reduce negative effects and sustain natural resources.

Founded in 2005 along with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, we are a unit of the USDA Forest Service. We serve the entire western United States, covering the seven western Forest Service regions and three research stations. But our program is administered through the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and our staff live in and operate from the Pacific Northwest.

Our activities are organized into four focus areas:

Mission and Objectives

Our mission is to generate and integrate knowledge and information to provide credible prediction, early detection, and quantitative assessment of environmental threats in the western United States. The center's goal is to inform policy and support the management of environmental threats to western wildlands. Our objectives are to:

  • Assess risks, uncertainties, and potential effects of environmental stresses on western ecological conditions and socioeconomic values.
  • Evaluate the effects and consequences of multiple, interacting stresses on western wildland health.
  • Provide science-based decision-support tools for policy formulation and land management in the western United States.
  • Provide land managers with credible predictions of potential severe disturbances in the West with sufficient warning to take preventive actions.