FIA Plot Layout

Charley Peterson
Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program
Pacific Northwest Station, Portland, Oregon
Progress on achieving consistency and compatibility
across all regions
FIA User Group Meeting
Houston, Texas
March 23, 2010
New Sheriff in the West
Old Sheriff in the West
Sue Willits
Administrative Director
PNW Research Station
Portland, Oregon
Recommendation #5 to FIA from
the second Blue Ribbon Panel
• Consistent plot design & installation procedures
• Compatible field procedures and national manual
• Compatible analytical procedures
• Compatible database system
• Documentation of all of the above
Consistent plot design
and installation procedures
• Plot design stable, integrated designs with NFS ~2001 and
provided for additional NFS measurements
• National standards allow for regional options such as
increased plot density, macro-plots or even hectare-sized
plots (paid for by regional partners)
Consistent plot design
and installation procedures
• National protocols for Urban forest inventory, developed
with FHM, piloted in TN and CO for 5 years, and recently
being implemented in PNW (more on this later)
• National protocols for Range, developed by RMRS with
PNW and piloted with a joint USFS/BLM/NRCS project,
currently under review by RMRS and PNW
Compatible field procedures and
national manual
• Version 5.0 is out and used for quite some time
• Core measurements have been stable
• National Core Field Guide and additional work done to
establish consistency for some regional add-ons
• The change proposal and updating process is transparent and
well documented
Compatible field procedures and
national manual
• Regional protocols consolidated into core-optional procedures
in the national manual (e.g., tree damage, invasive plants,
down wood, nonforest measurements);
• “Tropical field guide" developed as companion to the
temperate field guide;
• National Data Recorder implemented in 3 regions in 2009,
and in PNW 2010;
• National Field Data collections system (MIDAS) - All data
will be collected with the same system for all on-grid plots,
and for all off-grid intensified plots.
Compatible analytical procedures
• National "Bands" and "task teams" to develop one set
of data/analysis;
– Task teams created for Carbon, Understory Vegetation,
administratively withdrawn lands, Down Woody Material, etc.
• National data processing system (NIMS) algorithms
and procedures all in one place
– Forest Typing algorithms, species lists, volume equations,
Biomass calculations, core tables created etc...
Compatible database system
• National processing system (NIMS-CS) to reduce regional
redundancy and streamline processing and IT resources;
• National Website: established to provide public access to all
non-confidential data for all FIA units;
• FIADB is publicly accessible and has a variety of tools;
• Tools - Data distribution tools (and data) have been more
readily available to our clients
Documentation of all of the above
• FIADB documentation has been written and made available
• Change procedures, meeting notes, and organization are all
made available on the web
• Publications and on-line resources have been developed
– core analytical procedures behind the design (the “green book”
Bechtold and Patterson 2005)
– publications for each of the P3 indicators, and
– reports on QA results.
And from Blue Ribbon Panel 2.5
• Establish guideline for posting data to FIADB
• Contract out field data collection to make it cheaper
• Develop analysis partnerships with agencies, universities, and
private companies
• Re-evaluate core data list
• Data management: increase emphasis and centralize it
• Panel creep is a problem
• Formal agreements with states on data collection and analysis
Finally - fully fund all states
What other things we need
• More partnership visibility at the national forest level
• Lots of requests for maps and they’re popular although they really
represent another model or picture of a system but not reality.
• Need to make better use of the dataset itself with estimates that have
confidence levels
• More use made of tools like DATIM (queries of FIADB)
• True potential for FIA is at some point adding user-friendly queries
(like USGS, NPS, and wilderness institute offer) that can provide
some local options (i.e. maintain relevance)
Why macro plots out west?
Proportion of tree density and net volume by diameter class, for
live and dead trees in CA,OR and WA

similar documents