Professional foresters are busy determining the type of forests in different counties and regions of Oklahoma as well as identifying tree species and forest health conditions in six central and north central counties. Counties include Grant, Garfield, Kay, Logan, Noble and Oklahoma.
Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) staff from Oklahoma Forestry Services began collecting data on plots across the county this week. Information will be gathered about the amount of land under forest cover, the type of forests and tree species that are present, tree size, invasive species and forest health issues present.
"Forests are valuable for both wood products and the environmental services they provide, including clean air, clean water, wildlife and recreation,” said State Forester, John Burwell, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. “In order to place a value on these resources we need to assess them in terms of composition and health
“We're excited that for the first time every county in Oklahoma will be included in the forest inventory program," he said.
The analysis will be conducted on randomly selected plots across private, industrial, and public lands and will include both forested and non-forested areas. Private landowners will be contacted directly if a plot falls on their land. The information gathered from this analysis will be used to determine status and trends of forests in Oklahoma, as well as the United States.
“The information we collect will be added to the national database to give decision makers the data they need to made informed decisions and plans for the future of our forestlands,” said FIA coordinator, Kerry Dooley. “We appreciate landowners allowing us access to their land so that we will have an accurate assessment of where Oklahoma’s forested lands exist and what condition they are in.”
Crews will be traveling in marked Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry vehicles and will be carrying proper identification with them. Landowners and leasers can assist in this endeavor by granting crews access to property if an FIA plot falls on their land, as well as telling others about the program. They are also welcome to be present when the crew is conducting the measurements on their property.
If you would like more information, contact Kerry Dooley at 580-236-1270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Fri, May 29, 2009
by Jack Carson, ODAFF