The State of the Nation’s Forests Summarized in Annual Report

The 17th annual national Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) report summarizes the status and trends of forest conditions across the United States. 

An aerial view of crown dieback in ash treesForests are constantly changing with weather, disturbance, and conversion to other land uses, but how do we know if year-to-year changes are just a one-off or part of a larger shift? Annual summaries of forest health are key to our understanding. Scientists from across the Forest Service as well as university researchers, state partners, and many other experts contributed to the 2017 Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) report, which is the only national summary of forest health undertaken on an annual basis. The report, led by North Carolina State University scientists who cooperate with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, includes short- and long-term forest health assessments from the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. It also summarizes the status and trends of a variety of forest health indicators. The report shows that there is a lot of forest land in the United States, and much of it is healthy. At the same time, fires, insects and diseases, and droughts are impacting forest health in many places, and some of those forests may be altered permanently.

Pictured: Ash trees attacked by the emerald ash borer show crown dieback. Photo by Bill McNee,Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, courtesy of

Related publications:

Forest Service Partners/Collaborators:
State and Private Forestry, Forest Inventory and Analysis

External Partners/Collaborators: North Carolina State University, State Foresters

Contact: Kevin Potter, North Carolina State University Cooperating Scientist,; Barbara Conkling, North Carolina State University Cooperating Scientist,

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