assessment of sustainability of our forests

Southern Forest Resource Assessment

led by the USDA Forest Service's Southern Region and Southern Research Station in collaboration with the USEPA, US Fish & Wildlife, TVA, and state forestry agencies of the Southern United States

Assessment Questions

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The Southern Forest Resource Assessment will address a set of questions regarding the sustainability of the South's forests. This page contains twenty-four questions that are now proposed to organize the analysis. These questions address broad issues; so to provide additional detail we include several specific points that will be considered as each question is answered, more than one hundred and twenty-five specific points in all. To see the specific points for a given question you'll need to follow the link to its left.

Questions were initially defined by a group of federal researchers and analysts. These were then modified and the specific points were generated based on inputs from ten public meetings and written comments. Following another period of public review, these questions were refined-mainly through the addition of specific points.

These questions will organize the effort of a team of analysts who have been assembled to conduct the Assessment. The next step in the process is development of work plans for each of the questions.

To the left of each broad category is a link taking you to the previous version of its questions, from there you will find links to earlier versions and to the comments submitted about them.

The link next to each question leads you to more information on that question including detailed issues to be considered, who's responsible for addressing the question, the plan for addressing the question, and progress updates on that work.

previous wording

Landscapes/Terrestrial Ecosystems

  TERRA-1: What are the history, status and projected future of terrestrial wildlife habitat types and species in the South?
TERRA-2: What are the history, status and projected future of native plant communities in the South?
TERRA-3: What are the likely effects of expanding human populations, urbanization and infrastructure development on wildlife and their habitats?
TERRA-4: What are the historical and projected future impacts of forest management and access on terrestrial ecosystems in the South?
TERRA-5: What conditions will be needed to maintain plant and animal species associations in the South?


previous wording

Social/Economic Factors

  SOCIO-1: How have land uses changed in the South and how might changes in the future affect the area of forests?
SOCIO-2: What are the attitudes and values of southern residents toward forests and their management and how have they changed over time and do they differ by demographic groups?
SOCIO-3: How do current policies, regulations, and laws affect forest resources and their management?
SOCIO-4: What motivates private forest landowners to manage their forestland and how are their management objectives formed?
SOCIO-5: What role do forests play in employment and local economies in the South?
SOCIO-6: What are the supplies of and demands for forest based recreation and other noncommodity uses of forests in the South?
SOCIO-7: How do forests and their uses influence the quality of life in the South?


previous wording

Timber Markets and Forest Management

  TIMBR-1: What are the history, status and projected future demands for and supplies of wood products in the South?
TIMBR-2: What are the status and trends of forest management practices in the South?
TIMBR-3: How might existing and new technologies influence forest operations and resultant conditions of forests?


previous wording

Forest Extent, Conditions, and Health

  HLTH-1: What are the history, status, and projected future of southern forests?
HLTH-2: How have biological agents including insects and disease influenced the overall health of the South's forests and how will they likely affect it in the future?
HLTH-3: How have abiotic factors including environmental stressors such as air pollution influenced the overall health of the South's forests and what are future effects likely to be?


previous wording

Watersheds, Aquatic/Riparian Ecosystems, and Forested Wetlands

  AQUA-1: What are the history, status, and likely future of water quality in southern forested watersheds?
AQUA-2: What are the history, status, and likely future of forested wetlands in the South?
AQUA-3: How have forest management activities and other forest uses influenced water quality, aquatic habitat, and designated uses in forested watersheds?
AQUA-4: What are the implementation rates and effectiveness of BMP's in the South?
AQUA-5: What are the history, status, and likely future of aquatic habitats and species in the South?

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modified: 28-FEB-2001
webmaster: John M. Pye