Volume 10, Issue 3 - July/August 2016
Annual Report Keeps a Finger on the Pulse of U.S. Forest Health
Everyone can understand the importance of a yearly checkup for monitoring one's general health and wellbeing. Regular "checkups" are also necessary to gauge the overall health and monitoring needs of U.S. forests, so managers, scientists, and decision makers look to the U.S. Forest Service's annual Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) national report to gain insights into issues facing forests across the landscape. The Southern Research Station recently published Forest Health Monitoring: National Status, Trends, and Analysis 2015, the 15th in a series of these reports that summarize forest conditions from the prior year. "This is a big report that includes a lot of information. The scientists who contribute to it quantify the status of, changes to, and trends in a wide variety of broadly defined indicators of forest health, including fragmentation, plant biodiversity, soils, down woody materials, and crown conditions, among others," says Kevin Potter, a North Carolina State University (NCSU) scientist cooperating with the Eastern Threat Center who co-edited the report with fellow NCSU scientist Barb Conkling. "The main objective is to identify ecological resources whose condition is deteriorating over large regions – which requires consistent, large-scale, and long-term monitoring." Read more in CompassLive...