The Forest Inventory and Analysis
(FIA) Program of the U.S. Forest Service
provides the information needed
to assess America's forests.
As the Nation's continuous forest census, our program projects
how forests are likely to appear 10 to 50 years from now.
This enables us to evaluate whether current forest management
practices are sustainable in the long run and to assess
whether current policies will allow the next generation
to enjoy America's forests as we do today.
FIA reports on status and trends in forest area
and location; in the species, size, and health of trees;
in total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest; in
wood production and utilization rates by various products;
and in forest land ownership.
The Forest Service has significantly enhanced the FIA
program by changing from a periodic survey to an annual
survey, by increasing our capacity to analyze and publish
data, and by expanding the scope of our data collection
to include soil, under story vegetation, tree crown conditions,
coarse woody debris, and lichen community composition
on a subsample of our plots. The FIA program has also expanded to include the sampling of urban trees on all land use types in select cities.
FIA is managed by the Research and Development organization
within the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with State
and Private Forestry and National Forest Systems. FIA traces its origin back to the McSweeney - McNary Forest Research Act of 1928 (P.L. 70-466). This law initiated the first inventories starting in 1930.