Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Monday, April 24

MS Forest Inventory Assesses Hurricane Damage & Sets Stage for Annual Inventory

The USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station (SRS), is spearheading an accelerated effort to assess impacts to Mississippi forests resulting from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Over the next year, the Station’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit, in cooperation with local and state forestry agencies, will conduct the Mississippi forests inventory to determine the extent of hurricane-related forest damage. Data obtained will provide an in-depth picture of the overall health of Mississippi forests and set the
stage for the State’s annual inventory.

“FIA’s inventory will benefit forest land managers working toward short- and long-term recovery and restoration of Mississippi’s forests,” said Peter J. Roussopoulos, Southern Research Station Director. The results of this effort will compare current data to the State’s last periodic inventory in 1994 and will establish benchmarks allowing researchers to predict and manage future catastrophic events. FIA initiated preliminary posthurricane work in November 2005 followed by on-the-ground crews in January 2006. Presently, 20 percent of the re-inventory has been completed.

FIA is the South’s continuous forest census, projecting how forests are likely to appear 10 to 50 years from now by developing, analyzing, and maintaining annualized forest resource information for the 13 Southern States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. FIA information helps managers to evaluate whether current forest management practices are sustainable over time and assess whether current policies will affect the next generation’s enjoyment of America's forests.

Annualized inventories began in 1998 and States are added as funding becomes available.


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