The American Forest & Paper Association recognized the proposed increase for funding the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) program, from $70 million to $83 million in the president’s proposed budget, is a step in the right direction for developing and maintaining accurate inventories of the nation’s forests in the face of increasing pressures.
“Adequately funding the FIA program will allow policymakers to accurately assess forest carbon stocks and provide the foundation for analyses that are essential to maintaining a viable forest products industry and the good-paying jobs it provides,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.
The FIA program gathers consistent data about the area and condition of forests in the U.S. and provides information on changes in forest cover and composition by monitoring plots across the nation. The program also gathers current estimates and trends in forest land ownership and use, as well as information on wood consuming facilities.
The additional investment in the FIA program will allow federal agencies to evaluate changes in U.S. forests from wildfire, insect, disease, and development, as well as to accurately account for forest carbon stocks in greenhouse gas regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In the picture: AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.