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USFS Inventory and Monitoring Review. Initial observations and Recommendations John Moser Frank Sapio Steve Prisley Bill Stewart Janette Kaiser Mette Loyche Wilkie Catherine Jesch Mike Clutter. Thanks!.

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usfs inventory and monitoring review

USFS Inventory and Monitoring Review

Initial observations and Recommendations

John Moser Frank Sapio

Steve Prisley Bill Stewart

Janette Kaiser Mette Loyche Wilkie

Catherine Jesch Mike Clutter

  • Thanks to Rich, Greg, and Brad for their diligence and attention to detail in providing review materials
  • Thanks for John for the meeting planning and support
  • Thanks for Bov for hosting us here in Oregon
  • Thanks to those who took the time to visit with us on the I&M program
  • Most importantly, thanks for the opportunity to participate in this process – its makes a difference in the products and services provided
fia vs inventory monitoring
FIA vs. Inventory & Monitoring
  • We struggled with understanding the scope, organization, and justification of the Inventory and Monitoring projects outside of the FIA program.
    • From our perspective we do not have enough specific information to make quantitative judgments on the Inventory and Monitoring portion of the program
    • We have completed the “scorecard” on the FIA portion of the program
a conceptual diagram
A Conceptual Diagram
  • FIA core missions and objectives are reasonably well understood by our review panel
  • The Inventory and Monitoring portion of the mission was not as clearly defined and somewhat amorphous by Research Station
  • The relationship of these projects to the overall mission is still, at best, fuzzy
  • Opportunities to expand the FIA core into some of these areas clearly exist
  • We will focus our comments on the four portfolios used during the review to split up the program
    • Portfolio 1. Data Collection and functions that support data collection
    • Portfolio 2. Analysis and Reporting
    • Portfolio 3. New and emerging issues and opportunities
    • Portfolio 4. New research and technology development
portfolio 1 accomplishments
Portfolio 1 Accomplishments
  • National field manual with regional options
  • Annual System in 48 states plus all territories
  • Substantial cooperation with states and contractors in executing field work – particularly in the east
  • National compilation system developed and implemented in 3 of 4 regions
  • National data recorder system – MIDAS
  • Outstanding recent implementation and performance on field based activities
portfolio 1 issues challenges
Portfolio 1 Issues / Challenges
  • Complete the charge in the 1998 Farm Bill – annual system in all states
  • Transparency of procedures, documentation, etc. is primary to the mission
  • Explore differences in field work execution between the east and the west (year around data collection and state partnerships)
  • Managing the expectation of expanding the grid into rangeland, urban, etc. and adding additional variables
  • Quantitative measures of field performance for use in program management and review (cost / plot; etc.)
  • Denied access and its impact on the program
portfolio 1 recommendations
Portfolio 1 Recommendations
  • Continue progress toward high quality and efficient data collection and those activities that support it.
  • Continue and expand improvement on phase 1 remote sensing opportunities.
  • Do not mess with the grid and do not change the basic sampling design
  • Maintain control of the QA / QC functions and training of field crews
  • Expand where appropriate the use of State and contract crews in the west along with expanding the field season
  • Outstanding recent implementation and performance on field based activities
portfolio 2 accomplishments
Portfolio 2 Accomplishments
  • State reports; NRS on-time; SRS 75% complete; PNW complete; RMS catching up
  • State reports are now issue driven. Better integration with States and State issues
  • Tools for ad hoc query and reporting developed and in place
  • Addressing emerging issues on biomass and carbon
  • Reports contain both current estimates and projections
  • Many other reports and reporting tools developed and supported (regional, national, and global reporting)
portfolio 2 issues
Portfolio 2 Issues
  • Fully deploy delivery of Forest Health Indicator science
  • Continue to standardize volume, biomass, and carbon estimation
  • Continue development of a national carbon accounting system
  • Develop biomass GRM estimates for all trees on all forest land
  • Producing faster, better, and less expensive reports
  • Tension between the core and other activities . . . Defining objectives and priorities
portfolio 2 recommendations
Portfolio 2 Recommendations
  • Continue to pursue transparency and documentation of analysis procedures
  • Develop a national project for consistent biomass and carbon estimation for all species / species groups
  • Insure that FIA participates in and provides input to State Forest Sustainability Reports
  • Develop communications plans to better disseminate information
portfolio 3 accomplishments
Portfolio 3 Accomplishments
  • Synchronized P2 and P3
  • Increased Analytical Capacity
  • Improved Techniques Research
  • Increased use of Remote Sensing & Spatial Techniques
  • Improved Land Cover & Use Change


portfolio 3 issues challenges
Portfolio 3 Issues / Challenges
  • More Aggressive Remote Sensing Approaches
  • Enhanced NFS Support
  • Rapid Assessment Teams
  • Urban Forest Inventory
  • Rangeland Inventory
  • Water quantity and quality monitoring
  • Other Treed and Riparian Land Inventory
  • Wildlife Habitat Monitoring
  • Climate Change
  • Quantification and valuation of ecosystems services
portfolio 3 recommendations
Portfolio 3 Recommendations
  • Expansion into these emerging areas has to be funded over and above current core programs. Do not put these core programs at risk due to expansion into new areas.
  • Coordinate the implementation of rapid assessment teams with other agencies / departments
  • Expand the use and understanding of carbon accounting across the full range of carbon stocks and flows (wood, coal, etc.) Need a more robust view of TPO studies and their use in carbon accounting
  • Expand into urban areas, and other land with trees given that funding from appropriate sources is forthcoming
  • Develop methods to assess changes due to climate fluctuations
  • Increase capacity to address inventory and monitoring of various emerging issues (see issues list)
portfolio 4 accomplishments
Portfolio 4 Accomplishments
  • Developed estimators for the annual system (means, totals, standard errors)
  • Developed small area estimation methods
  • Exploring new and innovative uses on remote sensing techniques for use in Inventory and Monitoring
  • Developed methods for urban and rangelands
  • Developed methods for spatial data analysis and visualization (maps)
portfolio 4 issues
Portfolio 4 Issues
  • How to expand regional processes / techniques to a national scale
  • Coordination of regional R & D across regions in an efficient and effective manner
    • Best source, avoiding duplication
  • Encourage continued development of estimation methodologies for the FIA sampling design
portfolio 4 recommendations
Portfolio 4 Recommendations
  • Where appropriate take successful regional work and expand to a national scale
  • Encourage continued development of estimation methodologies for the FIA sampling design (workshop, funding, etc.)
  • Expand remote sensing methodologies / techniques for application in a wide array of analysis and reporting situations
  • Improve coordination and sharpen focus among R&D Units in all Inventory and Monitoring efforts
review process observations
Review Process Observations
  • We appreciated receiving comprehensive review information early
  • Provide consistent information of projects across all Research Stations (complete list of projects and funds / funding sources)
  • Better definition of portfolios
  • Provide a more complete set of financial based performance metrics by Research Station and project
  • Review team backgrounds are quite similar . . . Expand backgrounds of participants
  • Great to involve other countries in the review process
  • Facilitator was quite useful
  • Involvement of all program managers and senior leadership is important
  • Meeting facility was great
program observations
Program Observations
  • Control of computers and information systems (CIO)
  • Human Resources issues in the work force (retirements, loss of institutional knowledge, succession planning, etc.)
  • Inventory & Monitoring should be in compliance with Forest Service aviation safety policies
  • Participation of FIA (and the US) in development and implementation of global reporting of natural resources
  • Apparent lack of coordination and prioritization between regional I&M projects across a national program
  • Opportunities for expanding the breadth of partnerships
  • Some disconnects between the strategic planning process and individual project selection and implementation
program assessment
Program Assessment
  • The I&M program is in great shape from our perspective. Substantial progress has been made toward most of the primary objectives identified by the review team. We have been impressed by the breadth, depth and quality of the programs we have reviewed.