The historical background, framework, and the application of forest health monitoring in the United States
Forest monitoring systems have historically been designed to obtain data needed for timber management, but in the past few decades forests have been increasingly viewed as holistic systems that are best monitored with an integrated approach which includes the ecological and social aspects of forests(Riitters and Tkacz 2004). The demand for more comprehensive and science-based information has led the U.S. Forest Service to assemble a monitoring program that is based on a cooperative and integrated approach to gathering and reporting information on many aspects of forest health. This paper provides a brief history of the U.S. Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program, a summary of the conceptual approaches, and a description of current operations. Additional details are available on the Program's web site at http://fhm.fs.fed.us/.