2012 FIA National User Group presentations

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  1. James Bentley , USDA FS SRS FIA

    Title: Southern Harvest and Utilization Update

    An overview of the annualize southern harvest and utilization studies. Examining the possibilities of using the harvest and utilization studies and Softia 2 data entry program as a foundation for the biomass equation effort.

    Presentation not available

  2. William Burkman , USDA FS SRS FIA
    Program Manager

    Title: “Products from US Forests: A Center to Support the National FIA Program”

    US forests are an integral component of the economic fabric as an essential foundation of raw materials for timber products, a source for non-timber forest products, and increasingly as the basis of renewable sources for bio-energy. Sustainability of forest resources to meet multiple demands is being impacted by increased pressures from multiple, potentially competing uses. Because of the importance of wood-using industries, forest resource uses must be continually monitored. FIA has been canvassing primary producers of wood products to quantify US wood use through the Timber Products Output (TPO) component and is critical that this effort be maintained. The SRS FIA unit in Knoxville, TN will be creating the Products from US Forests Center with the goal to conduct relevant research that helps define, quantify, and understand the social and economic dimensions of wood and non-wood usage. The Center will provide leadership and coordination for the National FIA Program; support National FIA Program with research on emerging issues; and assist the regional TPO programs in maintaining the needs of the baseline TPO information. It will be a component of SRS FIA but will be located at SRS facilities in Blacksburg, VA.

    Presentation not available

  3. Richard Harper , USDA FS SRS FIA
    Forest Resource Analyst

    Title: Southern “Wall of Wood”: What are tree size dynamics indicating?

    Since the 1950s, timberland area in the Southern U.S. has remained relatively stable hovering just above 200 million acres. However, total volume has doubled! Softwood and hardwood volumes are at an all-time high and average annual net growth exceed removals in the region. The South has been on a path of sustainable wood supply. In recent years, most wood procurement strategies have focused on small diameter wood supply. The presentation discusses a brief history regarding U.S. timber harvest share, Southern industrial roundwood output, and tree planting, and the recent changes of harvested acres by harvest type. It will focus on changes by 2-inch diameter classes and stand size regarding volume, number of trees, and the average annual net change (net growth minus removals). Perhaps, monitoring dynamics within total volume can offer insight to future transformation of wood supply by roundwood products.

    Presentation not available

  4. John Paul McTague , Rayonier - Forest Research Center

    Title: The recession and maintaining viability of the forest products sector in the U.S. (Part 2)

    Maintaining viability of the forest products sector - John Paul McTague Three drivers of the forest products sector are analyzed for the near and long-term future. In the US housing sector, excess capacity is expected to impede new housing starts until 2015. In Asian markets, the composition of exports (logs and lumber) is now dominated by demand from China. Despite an increase in plantation acreage in China, it appears that supply can not meet demand for forest roundwood and lumber, thus creating strong market conditions for additional exports from the Pacific Northwest. In western Europe, legislation is mandating an inceasing reliance upon the use of biofuels. Pellet facilities in southeastern United States are ramping to meet the demand in the EU. The presentation discusses some of the risks associated with the export market of biofuels.

    Presentation not available

  5. David Meriwether , USDA Forest Service, Southern Region
    Ecosystem Management Coordinator

    Title: National Forest Intensification – Issues and options

    National forests across the country are as varied in their management objectives and methods as they are in the ecosystems that they comprise. Most are primarily forest lands, but not all. Some are shrub lands, grasslands, barren rock, glacier and desert. Inventory and monitoring needs of these forests depend on the vegetation management objectives for each of these forests and systems. A one-size inventory does not fit them all. Most regions of the Forest Service have identified the role FIA should play in meeting their inventory and monitoring needs. Additional needs are met using various approaches to intensification and modeling. This presentation will identify the range of vegetation inventory needs and options in effect today and reflect on agency-wide initiatives to address emerging needs tomorrow.

    Presentation not available

  6. Gretchen Moisen , IW-FIA
    Research Forester

    Title: Integrating time series of landsat-based information into FIA's estimation process

    Understanding disturbance rates and causes is a fundamental component to monitoring forest resources. Yet, these relatively rare events can be difficult to capture and analyze with our current annual inventory alone. Disturbance maps created through time series of satellite imagery provide a census of disturbance-related metrics across the entire landscape; allow analyses of size, shape, and proximity on the disturbance patches; and offer consistent and temporally dense information over decades. FIA is currently involved in Phase 3 of the collaborative North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) project that is integrating observations from historical records of Landsat imagery with data from FIA to characterize trends in forest disturbance and regrowth. Work is underway to process annual historic Landsat imagery wall-to-wall for the conterminous US, conduct extensive validation of disturbance maps, attribute cause of disturbance to affected areas through time, and analyze rates of regrowth following disturbance events. Here we discuss how these new nationwide data might enhance FIANA019s estimation system through improved precision and by offering new tools for observation at time and space scales that are compatible with those of disturbance events.

    Presentation not available

  7. Barbara O'Connell , NRS FIA

    Title: FIADB 5.1

    Updates to the FIA public database (FIADB), version 5.1.1.

    Presentation not available

  8. Steve Prisley , Virginia Tech

    Title: FIA Data and the EPA Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2

    EPA has begun the process of developing an accounting framework for CO2 emissions from bioenergy facilities. Emissions from burning biomass for energy are regarded by many countries as carbon-neutral; that is, because they represent a relatively short-term cycle between biological sequestration and emissions, they are not considered to increase atmospheric CO2 in the long term. However, EPA has rejected the concept of such a categorical exclusion of biomass facilities from carbon accounting. Instead, the proposed framework will consider the growth/drain balance in the region from which a facility draws its wood to determine whether CO2 emissions are being offset by forest growth. This approach therefore will rely on forest inventory data. The presentation will provide background on this topic and discuss issues with the current proposed approach.

    Presentation not available

  9. Martin Raphael , PNW Research Station
    Research Wildlife Biologist

    Title: Linking FIA Data and Satellite Imagery to Build a Habitat model for the Marbled Murrelet

    The primary objectives of the effectiveness monitoring plan for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) include mapping baseline nesting habitat (at the start of the Northwest Forest Plan [the Plan]) and estimating changes in that habitat over time. We did this by using vegetation data derived from FIA plot data coupled with Landsat satellite imagery. The process used (by Oregon State University researchers and PNW scientists) is called Gradient Nearest Neighbor (GNN) analysis. After collecting the GNN vegetation data, we modeled habitat suitability by using a maximum entropy model. Most (89 percent) baseline habitat on federally administered lands occurred within reserved-land allocations. A substantial amount (36 percent) of baseline habitat occurred on nonfederal lands. We observed a net loss of about 7 percent of higher suitability potential nesting habitat. Fire has been the major cause of loss of nesting habitat on federal lands since the Plan was implemented; timber harvest is the primary cause of loss on nonfederal lands. We also found that murrelet population size is strongly and positively correlated with amount of nesting habitat, suggesting that conservation of remaining nesting habitat and restoration of currently unsuitable habitat is key to murrelet recovery.

    Presentation not available

  10. Greg Reams , US Forest Service-FIA
    National Program Leader

    Title: Update on Tree Biomass Data Collection Effort

    To provide national standards for sampling and compatible estimation of tree volume, biomass and carbon, the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program has undertaken a national-scale study to collect tree volume/weight data and parameterize flexible prediction models for the various tree components. To facilitate this effort, FIA has entered into research agreements with six key university partners (Oregon State University, Virginia Tech, University of Georgia, University of Maine, Michigan State University, University of Montana). Additionally, input from other strategic constituents has been procured via representation from the National Forest System (FMSC at Fort Collins) and forest industry (NCASI, Rayonier, Weyerhaeuser). Current status and timelines of project will be presented.

    Presentation not available

  11. Frank Roesch , USDA Forest Service
    Mathematical Statistician

    Title: Estimating Forest Conversion Rates

    Almost all annual inventory plots in the South have now been measured at least twice, allowing the long-term monitoring of forest trends by tools much more powerful than those available to analysts of FIA data previously. The most basic aspect of monitoring forest is the presence of forest itself. As urban areas expand and the world's population continues to grow, the transitioning of land from forest to other uses is of increasing interest. In two recent papers, cited below, we show how rates of conversion can be estimated in the United States from the continuously improving publicly-available annual forest inventory database (FIADB). In this presentation, I discuss some of the potential issues an analyst might encounter when using FIADB for estimating forest conversion rates.

    Van Deusen, P.C. and F.A. Roesch. 2009. Estimating forest conversion rates with annual forest inventory data. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:1993 to 1996.

    Roesch, F.A. and P.C. Van Deusen (in review). Monitoring Forest/Non-Forest Land Use Conversion Rates with Annual Inventory Data.

    Presentation not available

  12. Brad Smith , US Forest Service
    Assoc. National Program Mgr., FIA

    Title: The recession and maintaining viability of the forest products sector in the U.S. (Part 1)

    Impacts of the recession on forestry and related economic sectors NA013 W. Brad Smith Following the Forestry Source article in January 2010, job losses in the primary forestry sectors of wood manufacturing, paper manufacturing and forestry and logging through 2009 swelled from the 294,000 reported to over 335,000 by mid-2011 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lumber production trends reported by the Forest Products Laboratory, with over 1,000 mill closures, plummeted to the lowest level since the recession of the early 1980s and base levels of the early 1960s prior to that. While overall pulpwood production has remained steady, mills are closing and thousands of workers are being laid off. This presentation provides a brief overview of industry trends in forestry and related sectors where overall job losses have mounted to more than 1 million jobs since 2005.

    Presentation not available

  13. Tony Tooke , USDA Forest Service
    Director, Ecosystem Management Coordination

    Title: Broad Scale Monitoring and Assessment Efforts on Public and Private Lands

    The Forest Service is using a collaborative approach to improve broad and national scale inventory, monitoring, and assessment (IM&A) activities across a gradient of landscapes. The current IM&A system does not enable the Forest Service, its partners, and stakeholders to effectively and consistently address priority business requirements or answer critical conservation questions. Environmental threats and business requirements, such as climate change vulnerability assessments, watershed and landscape restoration, new Planning Rule requirements for broad-scale monitoring and assessments, and interagency reporting requirements cannot be effectively and efficiently addressed under the current IM&A system. An improved IM&A system can provide timely, high quality, and comparable information on resource status and trends; provide robust models to analyze resource information; store data in systems that are appropriately transparent and accessible to the agency and partners; create opportunities to work with and learn from partners; and help the Forest Service and partners proactively manage risks and impacts to the NationNA019s forests and grasslands. A Forest Service IM&A core team, with the help of Planning Rule and Collaboration specialists, agency leadership, and select partners, is developing a strategy and recommendations to improve the IM&A system to meet the needs of the agency and those shared with partners.

    Presentation not available

  14. Paul Van Deusen , NCASI
    Principal Research Scientist

    Title: Moving beyond the moving average

    The moving average is good for estimates of current status. This was adequate when the annual inventory system began and there was no remeasurement data. However, some states now have several remeasurements and trend estimates could benefit from more sophisticated estimators.

    The remeasurement characteristics of the annual inventory data are discussed. The importance of trend estimates such as growth, removals and mortality are reviewed. Issues related to making more sophisticated estimators available in online tools are discussed.

    Presentation not available

  15. Christopher Woodall , FIA
    Research Forester

    Title: The Technical Specifications of the US Forest Carbon Inventory: Recent Past and Near Future

    FIA has explicitly assumed responsibility for providing an inventory of US forest carbon stocks and stock change to the EPA to meet UNFCCC obligations for numerous years. Recent improvements, plans for the future, and implications regarding use of the US inventory both nationally and at the project-scale are discussed.

    Presentation not available