Forests of Arkansas, 2016
This resource update is a brief look at some of the basic metrics that describe the status of and changes to forest resources in Arkansas. Estimates presented here are for the survey year 2016 with resource changes compared against the 2015 survey year. This information is based on field data collected using the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) annualized sample design, and it is updated yearly. Arkansas has about 5,700 sample plots across the State; each year, 20 percent of these plots (one panel) are visited and measured by field crews, the data compiled, and new estimates produced. It is important that users keep in mind that each year of new estimates, and the subsequent resource changes, are influenced by the newest 20 percent of the sample; the older, and unchanged, data make up the remaining 80 percent of the sample. This small sample may result in some rather sharp spikes in estimates when comparing successive survey years, but in most instances the annualized design should give a reasonable indication of directional trends in the resource such as increasing, decreasing, or no change. After 5 years of measurements, the full sample complement (a cycle) is complete and a new survey cycle begins. Because the 20-percent panel sample size is rather small, the strongest and most reliable trend information (especially that concerning magnitude of change) comes from comparing two full cycles of data.