Forest Inventory and Analysis Program


Support the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program to measure and monitor key metrics related to the extent, condition, and trends of all forests of the United States. 


The FIA Program oversees the regular remeasurement of 355,000 permanent inventory plots and associated remote sensing applications to deliver a robust forest census that includes vital statistics, analyses, and reports on the status and trends of all forests of the United States. 


The Society of American Foresters (SAF) recognizes the critical importance of high-quality information about America’s forests from the USDA Forest Service’s (Forest Service) FIA Program, which provides a basis for long-term strategic planning, forecasts of forest conditions and outputs, insights about sustainability, and essential monitoring data. SAF supports: 

The requisite funding and staffing to implement FIA’s top priorities, which include the annual remeasurement of 20 percent of FIA plots in each state every year; an analytical report for each state every 5 years; and two annual surveys: Timber Product Output monitoring and reporting and the National Woodland Owner Survey.

Additional funding and staffing, through Congressional appropriations and/or partnerships, to support urban and ‘trees outside forests’ inventories, expanded sampling of forest soils, improved carbon and biomass estimates, completing the interior Alaska inventory, additional information technology support from USDA for improved estimation models and software applications, intensified sampling following major disturbances, and enhanced communications. 

FIA Program Managers’ responsiveness to expanding needs of partners, users, and the FIA National Users Group. 

Expanded collaboration with partners, especially state agencies, using flexible contracting mechanisms with innovative approaches to fiscal match requirements. 

Congressional establishment of an FIA budget line item that includes explicit funding levels for program operations, salaries, and expenses.

Efforts to provide accessibility to, and understanding of, FIA data to a burgeoning and increasingly diverse user community.  

Continued improvements in area and volume estimates through the collection of data, production of information, and use of advanced geospatial and remote sensing technologies. 

Increased public-private partnerships enabling the collection and use of data from privately owned forestlands, consistent with Congressional privacy requirements. 

Making each year’s data available to partners and users within six months of the end of the field season.

Continued work to improve national consistency of sampling designs, data collection, and reporting.  

Approved: October 2022

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