Volume 1, Issue 2 - Winter 2008
Message from the Director
One question that I am often asked is, "What geographical area is covered by the Eastern Threat Center?" Our original charter refers to the public and private forests of the East, with an emphasis on eastern hardwoods. Because there are only two threat centers (see map), a reasonable interpretation is all forests east of the Great Plains, with an emphasis on the upland hardwood forests. Two recent inquiries from Nebraska and Puerto Rico about information on our Web site show just how limiting the "eastern forest" delineation might be. My hope is that we would never turn away requests for information because they don’t originate in our backyard, but at the same time we are obligated to remain true to our mission. The picture is a little more muddled because of the inclusion of two units within the Center that clearly have national and international responsibilities, namely, the National Forest Health Monitoring team and the Southern Global Change Program. Our collaborative efforts with the Western Threat Center and others mean that we invariably will be involved with projects that are national in scope, particularly as we build tools using remote sensing technologies and seek to leverage our efforts to gain economies of scale. There’s also the realization that many of the threats to eastern forests either don’t originate here (e.g., invasive plants and pests), or are not confined to the East in a way that makes a strictly regional perspective meaningful (e.g., climate change and globalization).
The bottom line is that our success is predicated on maintaining an appropriate mix of regional, national, and international activities. Take a look at some of our activities highlighted here and visit our website at http://www.forestthreats.org, then tell us how we’re doing and how we can better serve you.
Until next time...
Danny C. Lee
Above: The Eastern Threat Center is headquartered in Asheville, NC, and the Western Threat Center is located in Prineville, OR.