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Goal: Apply Knowledge Globally Urban Forest Inventories Heating Up in Texas and Beyond

People wading through water to a research plot

A Texas A&M Forest Service FIA crew making their way to an UFIA plot in the Houston, TX area. Photo by Chris Brown, Texas A&M Forest Service.

Introduction

The Forest Service is rolling out a national program of inventorying urban forests across the U.S. As an early adopter of the program, Texas is the first state with completed inventories and related reports, offering a glimpse into what is to come as more cities partner with the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis program.

Summary

As populations become increasingly urbanized, connecting people in cities and suburbs to the natural world becomes more important. Urban forest inventories address this need, and the new program of Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis (UFIA) combines methods from Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis and i-Tree programs to gather pertinent urban forest information. Because this is a national program, data collection is consistent across participating cities. State and city partners are also involved throughout the process, ensuring local relevance and stakeholder engagement.

Thanks to early involvement and an accelerated measurement schedule, Austin, Texas was the first city to complete data collection and produce a report under this new program. Since then, UFIA within Texas has hit several other benchmarks. In 2017 the second UFIA report – Houston’s Urban Forest – was produced; data collection started in San Antonio; Austin and Houston were the first two cities to begin remeasurement of data points, allowing assessment of resource changes over time; and Fort Worth committed to begin data collection next year.

While these earliest achievements are in Texas, several cities across the U.S. have begun UFIA data collection, and many more are slated to do so in the coming years. View a map of U.S. Forest Service Urban Forest FIA cities.

Principal Investigator
Kerry Dooley, Forester
RWU
4801 - Forest Inventory and Analysis
Strategic Program Area
Inventory and Monitoring
Publications
Houston’s Urban Forest, 2015
Austin’s Urban Forest, 2014
Austin’s urban FIA: seamless rural to urban resource monitoring in Texas
CompassLive Story
Houston’s Urban Forests
Research Partners
David Nowak, NRS-FIA
Allison Bodine, NRS-Urban Forests, Human Health, and Environmental Quality
Robert Hoehn, NRS-Urban Forests, Human Health, and Environmental Quality
Christopher Edgar, SRS-Forest Health
Dudley Hartel, SRS-Integrating Human and Natural Systems
Sharon Stanton, PNWRS-Resource Monitoring and Assessment
Mark Hatfield, NRS-FIA
Thomas Brandeis, SRS-FIA
Tonya Lister, NRS-FIA
Mark Majewsky, NRS-FIA
Nancy Sonti, NRS-Ecology and Management
External Partners
Gretchen Riley, Texas A&M Forest Service
Burl Carraway, Texas A&M Forest Service
Rebekah Zehnder, Texas A&M Forest Service