Oklahoma Forestry Conducting Inventory in Eight Eastern Counties

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 Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, Delaware and Choctaw.

Foresters will be gathering information 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. State Forester, John Burwell, said the inventory began last year and will continue until the entire state’s forest lands have been inventoried.

“Forests, trees and woodlands provide Oklahoma with many valuable goods and services,” he said. “In order to manage this resource for the greatest benefit to Oklahoma’s citizens, we need to asses what we have. Gathering detailed data from sample sites in all 77 counties is a challenging task for our field foresters, but their efforts provide us with data that is key to our planning strategy.”

The analysis is conducted on randomly located plots across private, industrial, and public lands and includes 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 is added to the national database to give decision makers the data they need to make informed plans for the future of our forest resources,” said FIA coordinator, Kerry Dooley. “We appreciate landowners allowing us access to their land so that we will have an accurate assessment of Oklahoma’s trees and forests”

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 kerry.dooley@oda.state.ok.us.