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Urban Trees Count in Indiana

New Inventory Will Track Long-term Change in State`s Urban Forests

Indianapolis, Indiana skyline with trees and water in foreground.  Adobe Stock photo. Madison, WI, June 28, 2022 - For the first time, USDA Forest Service inventory of Indiana’s forests will include urban trees. Data on urban forests give city planners in Indiana better information on which to base decisions about urban trees for a range of benefits, including energy savings and improved access to nature.

Crews working for the Forest Service’s Forest Inventory & Analysis program began an inventory of the state’s forest resources in spring. The Forest Service, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry's Community Urban Forestry Program, Indianapolis Department of Public Works Urban Forestry Section, and the City of Fort Wayne collaborated to launch the urban forest inventory, which aims to capture the benefits of trees growing in urban areas and expands the existing long-term forest monitoring program across Indiana. 

“All trees are working trees,” said Mark Majewsky, team leader for the NRS Urban FIA program. “Urban trees clean the air, sequester carbon, mitigate storm water runoff, and help improve the health of people and communities regardless of where they are growing. Healthy trees can provide wildlife habitat and improve real estate values. The more data communities have on where trees are located, the health of trees, and the age and species of trees, the better equipped they are to make decisions about urban forest maintenance and investments.” 

Fort Wayne, Indiana skyline with  urban trees in the foreground.Data from the completed Indiana urban forest inventory will be added to the My City’s Trees application when it is available.  My City’s Trees is a computer application developed by Texas A&M University and the Forest Service that allows users to explore urban forest inventory data associated with many U.S. cities, giving detailed information on the benefits and services that a city’s trees and urban forests provide.

Forest Inventory & Analysis research plots are scattered across the entire state on both public and private lands.  “Including private lands is critical to the success of this program,” said  Majewsky. “If an FIA crewmember contacts you to request access to a plot on your property, please consider granting access.” Majewsky wants Indiana residents to know that inventory crew members always carry identification and will never ask to enter a home.

Learn more about forest inventory data collection by viewing a short video titled Forest Inventory and Analysis and You or view an online list of frequently asked questions from landowners

For over 90 years, the Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program has collected, analyzed, reported, and distributed data about the Nation’s rural forests: how much forest exists, who owns it, what condition it's in, where it’s located, and how it's changed. In the past decade, FIA inventories have expanded to measure trees in urban areas.  In 2022 NRS-FIA crews are conducting urban forest inventory in href="https://www.fia.fs.fed.us/program-features/urban/docs/UFIA_cities_combo_map.pdf">24 states across the Midwest and Northeast.

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The mission of the Northern Research Station is to improve people's lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

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The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains world-renowned forestry research and wildland fire management organizations. National forests and grasslands contribute more than $30 billion to the American economy annually and support nearly 360,000 jobs. These lands also provide 30 percent of the nation's surface drinking water to cities and rural communities; approximately 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).


Last modified: June 28, 2022