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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

Landowner Information
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Landowner Information

Who We Are and What We Do

Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) collects and analyzes information on the Nation's forests.   Crews made up of dedicated FIA employees collect the data in the field, which we then analyze and use to monitor our Nation's renewable resources. Historically, forest inventories have been conducted since 1930, and forest mapping efforts date back to the 1850s and earlier.

Valuable Data

A healthy forest depends on monitoring. FIA conducts a unique ecosystem-based forest inventory, which means we record plant, soil, water, and wildlife data. Using the data we collect, we can report on forest health, sustainability, carbon, traditional use, economics, and other important matters.

Our data aid in formulating forest policy and management plans on public land, building fire prediction models, and informing the public about the Nation's forests. 

Primary users include natural resource managers, teachers and researchers, state and local governments, and interest groups. Partners include Native American bands, State cooperators, universities, and international experts.

FIA data answer such questions as:

  • How much forest land is there?
  • What tree species are present and where?
  • How much carbon is stored in the forest?

Plot Locations

Our plots occur on all ownership levels, including federal, tribal, state, county, municipal, industrial, and privately owned land.  If a sample location we would like to inventory (field plot) is on your land or if we need to cross your land as the most direct or safest route to a field plot, we would need your permission.

Locations are randomly selected, one plot for about 6,000 acres. Roughly one-third of these are forested and visited by our field crews. We rely on you, the landowner, for help in keeping us up to date about our Nation’s forests by allowing us to learn about your private land.

Once a plot is established in the field, we return to the same exact location every 5 to 7 years, which allows us to track both forest and land use changes. Some previous nonforest plots will be field checked if they appear to be reverting to forest land.

Our research characterizes forest land at the State level so we go to a variety of locations, such as mountain tops in Vermont, swamps in Michigan, and even suburban woodlots.

FIA Duty Stations Map
(PDF) 1.58 MB

Because of our scientific approach and need for a random sample of plots, we cannot move plot locations to a more desirable woods or a nearby public forest. If so, our data would not reflect what is actually present in the environment. When we ask to go in your pasture, it is because that is where the plot falls and that is where we must go.  But, if there are hazards on your land, please let us know about them in advance so we can plan accordingly or come back another day.

Last Modified: 07/07/2014