assessment of sustainability of our forests

Southern Forest Resource Assessment

led by the USDA Forest Service's Southern Region and Southern Research Station in collaboration with the USEPA, US Fish & Wildlife, TVA, and state forestry agencies of the Southern United States

Notes from Assessment Team Meeting

October 11-12, 2000
Atlanta, Georgia


Assessment Co-leaders John Greis and Dave Wear and Facilitator Nancy Walters


Question Managers to report on the progress on answering their respective question, general information-sharing with Q&A sessions; assessment co-leaders will query and prompt the QM’s during their progress reporting

General Update

  • John and Dave briefed the Council of Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C. recently. 
  • Currently are organizing a Sustainability Conference in Durham on November 7-8, 2000 with 35 presentations with fairly broad audience of public with researchers, designed as an information-sharing format. Schedule and abstracts for this conference will be available on the web in the next 2 weeks for review before the conference. 
  • GIS sub-committee has made progress and some information is already available on the web. 
  • Forest History Society contract will be finalized this next fiscal year as research link

Status of Assessment

Handout on the draft SFRA Publication Time Line; currently QM’s are in the midst of writing the technical reports with first draft due the end of December 2000, with subsequent peer review by March 2001. Milestones include May 15, 2001 of releasing draft reports on the web to begin public review and November  2001 for publishing the final report.  Need to think about how to close out the writing phase of the Assessment, in generating effective linkages in datasets, threaded discussions on the web, protected areas of the web for QM’s to view specific portions of publication during their writing.  Bob Biesterfeldt  has been hired as editor.   

Miscellaneous Information

Call for papers for an upcoming conference to be held in Atlanta, the Southern Forest Science Conference, due by November 1, 2000; information available at  Focus will be on contributions for the last 100 years for the new millennium.  This will provide nice timing for presenting the SFRA publication

Question Managers’ Progress Reports

Progress Reports submitted by Question Managers

SFRA Publication

Dave Wear, Bob Biesterfeldt

Publication Specifications – 3 publications will be produced, namely:

  • Technical Report:  containing a report for each of the 23 questions plus a report on fire; total 500 pages.
  • Summary Report:  containing a synthesis of the 24 reports and a report by ecological province; total 60 pages.
  • Executive Summary:  containing the synthesis alone, with a compact listing of overall findings; total 20 pages.

Chapter Outline - organization of each chapter in the technical document will follow the outline below:

  • Questions addressed by the chapter
  • Key Findings
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Data Sources
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Needs for additional research

Publications Team:  Bob Biesterfeldt Louise Wilde, Rod Kindlund, John Pye

Mail writing to Bob Biesterfeldt as early as possible for early editing; note if any statements in manuscript are opinion; suggest shortened version of the question in text because of page limit for each report (approximately 20 pages).  Contact:, 828-254-3523; manuscripts may be emailed to [Note: we've revised the procedure since the workshop, Renee Boozer will coordinate manuscript collection and distribution, there will also be an option to submit via FTP]

Louise Wilde (Forest Service, SRS Communications Staff):  styling guidelines will be posted on the web along with the templates within 1 week (already formatted for use), will have samples of report formats, graphs, maps, bibliography, etc., within 2 weeks, will use English units of measurement (decision), write out percent vs. symbol in text, state postal abbreviations, cite authority with first reference to genus species, use math type for equations [note: optional], ½ point lines in tables [note: no longer true] and tables in separate file, naming convention will be established for chapters, figures, tables, etc…, discourage wide tables to prevent scrolling, no smaller than 8 point in tables, any cross reference should be in format of the chapter/section numbering as there are no page numbers in the html format, glossary will be used and QM’s should update (John Pye will post current one available), define acronyms.  Final publication will be completed in Pagemaker.  Contact:  Louise Wilde at 828-257-4391,

Rod Kindlund (Forest Service, SRS Communications Staff):  graphics guidelines will be posted, [note this part no longer true: "use Delta Graph preferably for figures and graphs for ease and less time consumption to complete publication in Pagemaker, figures will be in pdf format,"] will work with using Excel for conversion to use in Pagemaker, photographs could be high quality black/white or 35mm color slides.  Contact:  Rod Kindlund, 828-259-0560, Will follow up on the choice/distribution of graphics packages.

John Pye (Forest Service, Southern Research Station):  while Bob B is editing manuscript, figures should be submitted as well and if changed because of editing, these changes need to be reflected (includes table numbers), early submission preferred; longer lists or lengthy tables should be submitted to John Pye for review.  Contact:  John Pye at 919-549-4013,

Publications Team will have posted the following in the very near future:  instructions to QM’s, samples of maps, charts; color pallets; sample templates to meet standards.

Sub-Regional Focus Areas

John Greis

New Estimated Timeline:                

November 2000: Criteria final
January 2001: Open for area proposals
February/March 2001: Areas chosen

Feedback on draft criteria (September 2000) from QM’s and public

Criteria and Indicators

Mary Carol Koester (Forest Service)

Review of Montreal process of addressing criteria and indicators (C&I).  Linkage to be completed in conjunction with the RPA assessment in 2003, either feeding into the national report or two separate reports.  Purpose:  looking for feedback from C&I draft work Mary Carol has completed since July assessment team meeting; strengthen the 2 documents. 

Do not expect the technical reports to cite the C&I; linking the assessment will strengthen the C&I.  Contact:  Mary Carol Koester at 828-257-4298,


Dave Wear, John Greis

  • Summary Document:  publication timeline shows mid-January through end of April; need to convene a 2-3 day synthesis/writing session with QM’s of their key findings on January 17-19, 2001; this will guarantee consistency across chapters; core times and location TBD (Paul on the 19th)
  • Peer Review Process:  will be similar to peer review for a journal submission for technical accuracy, breadth, verify validity, John/Dave review then to QM’s to respond/counter/change; suggestions of peer reviewer candidates immediate from QM’s and public, send names, affiliation, expertise, phone, address to Dave Wear or John Greis; need a stronger than usual commitment from candidates; issue of quality control/quality assurance should be addressed;
  • Coordination between QM’s needs to be emphasized in final stages of writing.
  • November Conference:  agenda available, encourage reservations as soon as possible, working on participant listing, most speakers are set for the three colloquia (forest management, policy, science)
  • Notes/Documentation:  notes from this team meeting will be posted, QM’s provide written outline by Friday, October 20, 2000 and any absent QM’s need to provide further detailed information

red oak leaf as separator

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  modified: 8-JUN-2001
  created by: Dave Wear