Forest Health Monitoring Program
The North Carolina Forest Service is a cooperator and participant in the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program; a national program designed to determine the status, changes, and trends in indicators of forest conditions on an annual basis. All too often, natural resource policy- and decision-makers, managers, and the public get conflicting, incomplete reports about forest health status and trends. FHM is designed to provide more complete, accurate, and unbiased information on which to base decisions and responses.
The FHM program uses data from ground plots and surveys, aerial surveys, and other data sources and develops approaches to address forest health issues. It covers all forested lands through a partnership involving USDA Forest Service, State Foresters, and other state and federal agencies and academic groups.
The NCFS continually monitors all forest health threats in our state through aerial and ground surveys, permanent monitoring plots, and through the communication and interaction of our Forest Health staff with NCFS field personnel and landowners. Landowner reports of unusual forest pest activity are a critical component of the agency's FHM activities.
Since 1998, survey crews have established over 350 permanent plots across the state to provide data on our forest's health. Many of these plots have been re-visited at least once to begin capturing trend data. In 2000, these were co-located with Forest Inventory and Analysis plots to give a comprehensive view of the relative health and abundance of our forest resources.
The NCFS Forest Health staff compiles FHM data annually and these reports are submitted to the USDA Forest Service FHM Program.