Forest Health Monitoring program assesses forests across all 50 US states


Every year, the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) program tracks changing forest conditions, including national assessments as well as focused regional analysis. The resulting report is the only national summary of forest health undertaken on an annual basis. The goal of the 2019 FHM report is to identify ecological resources whose condition is deteriorating, potentially in subtle ways, across large regions. This requires consistent long-term monitoring of forest health indicators, which is not possible without the participation of multiple federal, state, academic, and private partners. Scientists from across the Forest Service as well as university researchers, state partners, and many other experts contributed to the 2019 report, which is available as a General Technical Report titled Forest Health Monitoring: National Status, Trends, and Analysis 2019. 


Kevin Potter, a North Carolina State University scientist supported by the Southern Research Station and an EFETAC collaborating scientist, edited the 2019 report with fellow NCSU scientist Barbara Conkling. Other EFETAC scientists including Frank Koch, Steve Norman, and Bill Christie contributed to the 2019 report. Individual report chapters are available for download, along with the full series of FHM annual reports since 2001. Users can search reports and chapters by year or topic. Potter, Conkling, and other authors have completed a draft of the next FHM report in the series, the 2020 report, and expect to publish it by the summer of 2021. Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: The most recent FHM report includes a new, satellite-based measure of forest disturbance. Decline in vegetation greenness related to drought in 2018 can be seen in the Southwest. USFS image.


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