Forest Inventory & Analysis

The South's forests are different from those of 200 years ago and they continue to change. Urbanization, the absence of fire, harvesting, fragmentation, forest ownership, and forest uses are but a few components of this change. Forest Inventory and Analysis results have been useful for economic development and forest planning decisions as well as analyses of timber supply.

Today, decision-makers are demanding up-to-date assessments of forest health and use that go beyond the periodic inventories of the past so they can respond to rapidly escalating changes in southern landscapes and populations. Because of the importance of wood using industries and all forest values in the South, resource sustainability must be continually assessed in a timely and accurate manner.

Through annual inventories, the Southern Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Research Work Unit measures and assesses these changes to the forest ecosystem. Developing new procedures and associated costs to improve the collection, analysis and transfer of data is a continuous process and a collective effort of the FIA Research Unit, Southern Group of State Foresters, universities, forest industry, and other government agencies.

The State Foresters are primary partners; providing assistance which augments federal budget allocations for these programs.

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