Forest Inventory and Analysis and You

Hi, I’m Sjana Schanning, an ecologist with
the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program,
and I’m here with an introduction to FIA. The Forest Inventory & Analysis is often referred
to as “the Nation’s Tree Census.” For nearly 80 years, we have collected, analyzed,
and reported on data about the Nation’s forests. Our woods are a vital part of the environment
and people’s jobs. An estimated 900,000 people work in the forest
products industry. FIA data helps to understand whether our current
practices are sustainable enough to support our forests well into the future. The data is also used for research on topics
ranging from wildlife habitat to wildland fire danger. You might be watching this video because you
got a letter or a phone call from an FIA crew asking to
access your property to take some measurements. By giving them your permission, you can help
ensure that we have an accurate report of the forest resources in the U.S. Why do we need to conduct forest inventories
on your land? Well, inventory plots are randomly selected
to assure that forest inventories are free of bias and truly represent forest conditions
across the nation. Forest inventory does include lands administered
by federal, state, and local governments, but most forested land in the U.S. is privately
owned. If we, only relied on inventories of public
lands, the data would be far less accurate. As guests on your land we keep your personal
information confidential. We do nothing that would impact how you use
or manage your land. We leave only a small marking, like this one,
for future visits to the research plot. We also work efficiently and try to spend
as little time as possible on your property. The information we collect gets compiled with
the rest of the data from across the state and it’s used to generate summaries that are
used by public and private audiences for a variety of reasons. However, we don’t release any information
specific to your land. It’s important to us that you use and manage
the land just as you would if there weren’t a forest research plot on it. Whether that means leaving the woods alone,
or cutting trees for firewood, or even logging or building
on the property. Forest inventories are conducted either by
USDA Forest Service crews or, in some cases, by contractors. The crew will generally access your land by
foot and it typically takes just a few hours to collect
the data that they need. A small percentage of the plots get a second
visit shortly after the first, for quality assurance reasons. We will make sure we have your permission
for that visit if it is necessary. By understanding the health and condition
of our forests, we can all help ensure that our grandchildren,
and THEIR grandchildren, are able to use and enjoy America’s forests into the future. And by allowing a forest inventory crew to
access your land, you are helping create a more accurate picture of the nation’s forest
resources. For more information about the forest inventories,
take a look at the website for the area that you live in. Maybe we’ll see you out in the woods.


  1. Only RICH ASSHOLES get to have forests. That's why the Forest Service keeps selling ours out to logging companies.

  2. Thank you for your videos, they are helpful in teaching people about our forests and why and how things are done the way are!

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