Conducting a Forest Inventory

A forest inventory is a set of objective sampling methods designed to quantify the spatial distribution, composition, and rates of change of forest parameters within specified levels of precision for the purposes of management.

Most Tribes use the Continuous Forest Inventory method for compiling data on their forested trust land. Other types of planning inventories may also be used, provided they meet or exceed the BIA standards described in 53 IAM 8.

Forest Inventory Analysis

A Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) is a technical report created by Tribes in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that summarizes and interprets data from a Continuous Forest Inventory or other planning inventory to provide objective information for land managers to support the development of a forest management plan. An FIA report typically includes:

  • Forest-wide stocking summaries.
  • Stocking, growth, and mortality trends.
  • Projections for future growth and volume.
  • Targets for forest regulation.
  • Calculations of an indicated annual cut (IAC) and a regulated annual cut (RAC).

Completed FIAs must be approved by the BIA regional director of the BIA region where the forest is located.

Preparing an updated FIA is necessary when revising a forest management plan. An updated FIA is also necessary whenever there has been substantial change in the state or condition of a Tribe’s or individual Indian landowner’s forested trust land.

Forest Inventory Technical Assistance

The Branch of Forest Inventory and Planning (FIP) is responsible for providing technical expertise in forest inventory, data collection design and analysis to BIA agencies and Tribes, including:

  • Preinventory planning
  • Field inventory design and specifications
  • Sampling designs
  • Field inventory training
  • Inventory processing and analysis
  • Growth and yield modeling
  • Harvest scheduling
  • Records management

For information about technical assistance requests, including forest inventory planning standards and best practices, please contact your regional Forest Management Inventory and Planning (FMIP) Forester or Regional Forester.

Additional Information

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Branch of Forest Inventory and Planning
13922 Denver West Parkway, Suite 300
Lakewood, CO 80401