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Program Expansions A Brief History. Early 20 th Century – Timberland End of 20 th Century – Forestland In the 21 st Century – Today – Land Use Change Tomorrow – Treed Lands ? Day After Tomorrow – All Veg ?. Program Expansions The Broader the look; the Better the Parts.

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program expansions a brief history
Program ExpansionsA Brief History
  • Early 20th Century –


  • End of 20th Century –


  • In the 21st Century –
    • Today – Land Use Change
    • Tomorrow – Treed Lands?
    • Day After Tomorrow – All Veg?
program expansions the broader the look the better the parts
Program ExpansionsThe Broader the look; the Better the Parts

Timberland to Forestland


Reserved Forestland;

Unproductive Forestland

Forestland plus Land Use Change






Land Use Change ≠ NO Trees

trees falling thru gap
Trees Falling thru Gap

Not an Acre

Not 120’ Wide

Wrong Land Use

why fill the gap
Why Fill the Gap

All trees:

  • Sequester Carbon
  • Provide Habitat
  • Filter Water
  • Stabilize Soils
  • Provide Biomass
  • Enhance Biodiversity
  • Create Jobs

Some trees:

  • Increase crop yields
  • Protect livestock
  • Conserve energy
  • Improve health and safety

Handy trees should be tally trees!

filling the gap one constituency at a time
Filling the GapOne Constituency at a Time
  • Trees on Non-Forestlands
    • Urban
    • Agricultural “Working Trees”
    • Riparian
    • Rangelands
filling the gap one constituency at a time1
Filling the GapOne Constituency at a Time
  • New Constituency = Support
  • New Support = Funding
    • Direct
    • Indirect
  • New Funding = Filling the Gap WITHOUT compromising the base forestland mission
filling the gap urban
Filling the GapUrban
  • Lot’s of Statewide Urban Pilots
    • IN, WI, TN, CO, WA, OR, CA, HI, AK
    • Confirmed we can
    • Quantified urban forests
    • Confirmed value and benefits
    • Not resulted in strategic national investment
    • Maybe the scale is wrong???
      • FIA scale.. urban forests of USA
      • Urban Constituency Scale…my city
filling the gap urban1
Filling the GapUrban

Vibrant Cities Initiative (

  • Urban areas - where most people live (84%) and vote!
  • Urban forests key to vibrant urban environments

“At the root of every vibrant city is an urban forest”

  • Urban areas viewed as ecosystems
    • People, infrastructure, and forest intermix/interact
    • “Ecosystem” key to scale issue
      • Core Based Statistical Areas
        • Scale at which FIA can contribute
filling the gap urban2
Filling the GapUrban

12 Vibrant City Recommendations (Goals):

  • Create a national education and awareness campaign.
  • Foster urban forestry and natural resources stewardship and volunteerism.
  • Create sustainable jobs in urban forestry and green infrastructure.
  • Cultivate partnerships between public and private sectors.
  • Develop new public administration models for urban ecosystems.
  • Create comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional Urban Regional Natural Resource Plans.
  • Integrate federal agencies’ green infrastructure goals.
  • Establish energy efficiency programs that emphasize the use of trees.
  • Ensure equal access to urban forestry and green infrastructure resources.
  • Support collaborative urban ecosystem-focused research.
  • Encourage open access to and use of social assessment tools.
  • Establish national Vibrant Cities Standards.
filling the gap urban3
Filling the GapUrban

FIA contributions to 12 Vibrant City goals:

  • Baseline accounting of urban forests
  • Long-term monitoring of change in urban forests
  • Valuate urban forest benefits and services
  • Platform for sample intensification/augmentation
  • Nationally consistent methods and procedures
  • Data sharing and distribution tools
  • Job opportunities
filling the gap urban4
Filling the GapUrban

FIA Benefits

  • Extends FIA to voting populace
  • Makes FIA key to their needs
  • Broadens support network

• Parks and People Foundation

• ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA

• Chicago Wilderness

• Tree Care Industry Association

• Urban Greenspaces Institute

• New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

• Arbor Day Foundation

• TreePeople, Inc.

• Cascade Land Conservancy

• Congress for New Urbanism

• Trees Forever

• Open Space Institute

• International Society of Arboriculture

• Sacramento Tree Foundation

• Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition

• New York Restoration Project

• Society for Municipal Arborists

• Alliance for Community Trees

• National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council

  • Strategic urban forest inventory
    • Built one metro area at a time
    • Allows seamless urban to rural monitoring
filling the gap urban5
Filling the Gap -Urban

City Intensifications —Maintaining continuity with past Urban inventories

(I-Tree, FIA Urban Pilots, ARRA, etc.)

  • Overlay new FIA hex sampling frame on old urban grid
    • If new hex contains FIA base grid plot then keep


    • If new hex contains old grid plot then keep


    • If neither base FIA nor old then add new plot
  • Possibility to maintain some historic trend data
    • If resources available

City Intensified Hexes



filling the gap urban6
Filling the GapUrban

Pragmatic Suggestion

Dave Nowak design

Single 1/10th acre fixed

Fast and efficient in cities

FIA design

Cluster of 4 - 1/6th acre fixed

Clunky in cities

filling the gap rural urban strata dual plot design model
Filling the GapRural/Urban StrataDual Plot Design Model

Dual Design

On FIA Forestland in Urban Stratum

Urban Stratum

Single 1/6 acre fixed plot at subplot1 on FIA non-forestland

Rural Stratum

Traditional FIA Forestland

4 subplot cluster




= Percent of FIA plots

filling the gap urban7
Filling the Gap-- Urban

Urban Plot Size Options

Practical plot size in Urban areas:

1/6th acre on par with rural


1/10th acre same as i-Tree

1/10th acre

Urban plot

37.2 ft. radius


1/24th acre same as subplot 1

filling the gap urban9
Filling the Gap - Urban

The NWOS contacts forest-land owners from across the country to ask them questions about:

The forest land they own

Their reasons for owning it

Their uses of it

Their management of it

Their information needs

Their future intentions for it

Their demographics

Extend NWOS to urban areas

Different focus; different questions; same foundational sampling frame/processing engine

filling the gap urban team
Filling the Gap – Urban Team
  • National Urban Team – Mark Majewsky
    • Members from all Units/partners
    • IM Planning Sub-team (Mark Hatfield)
    • Reporting Sub-team (Tonya Lister)
    • Pre-field Sub-team (James Blehm)
      • Plot sheet design (Cassandra Olson)
      • Navigational aids (Cassandra Olson)
    • Field Guide Sub-team (Mark Majewsky)
    • PDR Sub-team (Jay Solomakos)
    • Ownership Sub-team (Brett Butler)
    • TPO Sub-team (Ron Piva)
filling the gap urban10
Filling the GapUrban

Logical Partnership with i-Tree

  • Dave Nowak, FS R&D, NRS
    • Urban Forest Specialist
    • Established user base
    • Established partnerships
    • Does urban forest inventory for a living
    • Partner in all our urban pilots
    • Has developed software
      • I-Tree
      • Urban Forest Effects Model (UFORE)
      • Has read and emulated the little green book
    • Established processing engine
    • Established reporting format
filling the gap urban11
Filling the Gap--Urban

Conceptual Partnering Model

Future Model?

Staged Cooperation


New Model

I-Tree/D. Nowak

State Pilot Model

Old Model






filling the gap urban12
Filling the Gap--Urban

New FIA / I-Tree Partnering Model

I-Tree – process urban data through UFORE; accommodate FIA table outputs, condition weighting, error estimation, change estimation as practical/over time

I-Tree – Dave et al. analyze and publish typical UFORE report embellished with FIA data

I-Tree – create FIADB-like standardized output file from UFORE that has UFORE variables concatenated at appropriate levels (tree, condition, plot)

FIA – pass estimation “weighting” info to I-Tree/UFORE engine

I-Tree – create a new level of the I-Tree database to store FIA-certified urban forest inventory data (the standardized FIADB-like file from UFORE)

FIELD – FIA train, certify, and QA; data collection (feds, states, cities, or contracts)

Pre-Field – determine visitation; prepare navigational aids; consistency in cover/use calls with FIA/Urban/ICE

FIA Lead

I-Tree Lead

Plot Selection- overlay new FIA grid on top of any existing grid to facilitate trending/change estimation if resources available

MIDAS – modify to capture/edit combined field manual data on single-plot design and dual design for FIA forest plots in urban

MIDAS – post-field edit; create urban output file that is UFORE input ready, streamline the pass to UFORE

FIA – Develop data distribution tool to hit against FIADB-like UFORE output …UrbanEvalidator

NIMS – process traditional FIA rural data as normal

filling the gap urban 2014
Filling the Gap – Urban 2014
  • Initiate Baltimore CBSA
  • Annualized 7-year cycle
  • ~29 City (red) plots/yr
  • ~14 Urban (blue) plots/yr
  • Partners
    • Dave Nowak/i-Tree
    • Baltimore LTER
    • City of Baltimore
    • State
filling the gap urban 20141
Filling the Gap – Urban 2014
  • Initiate Austin CBSA
  • Annualized 10-year cycle
  • ~20 City (red) plots/yr
  • ~4 Urban (blue) plots/yr
  • Accelerated City Cycle
    • 1 or 2 years
    • Report out sooner
      • Build Support
  • Partners
    • Dave Nowak/i-Tree
    • State
    • City of Austin
filling the gap urban 2015
Filling the Gap - Urban 2015+

Vibrant Cities 7-year plan:

  • Select at least 25 cities of various sizes and in multiple regions to test new data gathering tools, providing for standard collection of assessment using identical methodologies and allowing comparison across municipalities.
  • Encourage implementation of these tools by 2020 in:

– 25% of cities with populations <250,000

– 50% of cities with populations of 250,000 to 1 million

– 100% of cities with populations >1 million

filling the gap urban road rules
Filling the Gap – Urban Road Rules
  • Partnership Model
    • FIA and I-Tree Under Vibrant Cities Umbrella
      • Goals:
        • Long-term Strategic Inventory and Monitoring of the Nation’s Urban Forests
          • Not another pilot
          • Built one Census Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) at a time
          • Annualized to FIA rural forest inventory cycles within the CBSA
          • Strategic monitoring of all urban forests within each CBSA
          • Intensified monitoring of urban forests in the target city within each CSBA
          • Provide annual information on the status and trends in target city forests
          • Provide for the broader-scale monitoring of all forests along the urban to rural gradient
          • Place city forests into context within the broader urban to rural continuum
          • Forward Vibrant City goals
  • Design
    • Population
      • Census--Core Based Statistical Areas (multi –county areas which build to national)
        • Census-defined urban areas and urban clusters boundaries within
          • Target-city boundary within
    • FIA Hexagonal Sampling Frame
      • Sampling Intensity
        • FIA base intensity (1 plot/~6000 acres) in urban boundary
        • Intensify as necessary to achieve 200 total plots in the target city
filling the gap urban road rules1
Filling the Gap – Urban Road Rules
  • Plot Design
    • 4-subplot cluster for FIA (rural) forests
    • Single plot at subplot one for urban
      • 1/6 acre fixed
    • Dual design for FIA forest plots in urban
      • Exploit marginal cost opportunity (FIA already visits 20% of urban plots)
      • Maintain consistency with rural and urban designs/estimation
  • Annualize
    • Match FIA rural forest cycle
    • Match FIA production/delivery goals
      • Collect data in 1 year
      • Process/post data within 6 months of last plot
      • Publish comprehensive report every 5 years
      • Develop data distribution tools
      • Met by combination of FIA and I-Tree systems
  • Data Collection
    • Start by merging FIA and I-Tree UFORE field manuals
      • Traditional outputs of both Programs
      • Augment/refine in time
        • Learn from initial efforts
        • Only after initial effort firmly underway
filling the gap urban road rules2
Filling the Gap – Urban Road Rules
  • Data Collection
    • Staffing
      • Best mix (fed, partners, contracts)
      • All must be trained
      • All must be certified
      • All must pass check plots
    • Quality Standards and Attainment
      • Trained and Certified crews
      • 4% - 10% of plots checked annually
        • Blind, Hot, and Cold
      • Measurement Quality Objectives
        • Basis for passing check plot
        • Quantified and reported
      • Estimates with sampling errors
        • Statistical precision goals
    • Full breadth of FIA program with logical urban refinements
      • Plots
        • Characterize vegetation and sites upon which it grows
          • P1, P2, P2 + (ecosystem indicators)
      • Timber Product Output
        • Characterize mills, wood used, products made, and residues generated
      • National Woodland Owners Survey
        • Characterize owners, attitudes, behaviors, and intentions
filling the gap urban road rules3
Filling the Gap – Urban Road Rules
    • Sample Integrity Protections
      • Do not bias the sample
        • Access
        • Ancillary efforts
          • May not be the best platform for some R&D efforts
    • Privacy Protections
      • Get permission to collect
      • Do not divulge individual’s proprietary data
    • Spatial Data Services
      • Maximize data utility while staying compliant with Integrity/Privacy protections
  • Augmentation opportunities paid by partner
    • Spatial intensification
      • Increase the number of samples (sample intensity)
        • More precise estimates/more confidence for smaller areas of interest
    • Temporal intensification
      • Speed the number of plots installed in a year/shorten the cycle length
        • Report out sooner
        • Establishment of rolling average and change estimation sooner
    • Additional Data Attributes
    • Augment when mutually beneficial and not detrimental to base effort