Forest resources can be monitored using various techniques, ranging from simple assessments to more complex statistical sampling of ecosystem attributes. Which attributes you measure, as well as the frequency of your monitoring, depends on the kind of forest you have and your management objectives. The table below identifies various monitoring protocols you can use on your forest, including links to field forms.

Monitoring Tool Purpose Applicable Ecosystem Data Collection Variables Forms
Forest Inventory
  • Determine baseline stand and timber information
  • Comply with FSC monitoring requirements (Indicator 8.2).
Any Quantitative – Statistical sample and permanent plots
  • Tree species, diameter, defect, height, and age
  • Sapling species and diameter
  • Shrub species and % cover
  • Number of snags.

Sapling and Shrub

Inventory Analysis (to calculate trees per acre, etc)

Forest Stand
  • Track important ecological and physical attributes through time.
Any Qualitative – Walk transects through the forest
  • Forest health and ecological hotspots
  • Wildlife
  • Trees and shrubs
Stand Assessment
  • Detect and track road deterioration, maintenance needs, or negative environmental impacts.
Any Qualitative -Traverse road segments
  • Road issues and severity
  • Maintenance needs
  • Appropriateness of culvert size compared to stream
  • Passability of culverts on fish bearing streams
Streams and Wetlands
  • Track general stream conditions and detect any detrimental disturbance impacts.
Any Qualitative – Walk stream segments and around wetlands
  • Channel and wetland characteristics
  • Water quality
  • Vegetation
  • Stream organisms
  • Wetland wildlife
  • Large woody debris


  • Identify areas of high biological value
  • Monitor impacts of conservation and/or harvest activities
  • Comply with FSC monitoring requirements (Indicators 6.1, 9.4).
  1. West Cascades Douglas-fir/mixed conifer
  2. Early seral/young stands
  3. Oak/Douglas-fir and Oak/pine woodlands
  4. East Cascades Ponderosa pine/mixed confier
Qualitative – Forest site visit
  • Topography and site characteristics
  • Forest dynamics
  • Forest habitat
  • Tree types and sizes
  • Forest structure
  • Snags and down trees
BA-Douglas Fir

BA-Early Seral

BA-Oak Woodland


  • Quantify forest carbon storage
  • Enter voluntary and/or regulatory carbon offset markets
Any – currently calculator applies to stands with Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, red alder, big leaf maple, and Oregon white oak Quantitative – Inventory with permanent plots, and carbon calculator
  • Species, diameter, height of standing live trees
  • Diameter, height, and decay class of standing dead trees
  • Volume of harvested wood products
Carbon Calculator
Other Ecosystem Services
  • Assess baseline ecosystem health and anticipate management and/or conservation impacts
  • Enter voluntary and/or regulatory
Various Quantitative and Qualitative – Site visit and office Various Willamette Partnership Field Tools