What To Monitor

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 sections below identify various monitoring protocols you can use on your forest, including links to field forms.

Forest Inventory

  • Purpose: Determine baseline stand and timber information, comply with FSC monitoring requirements (Indicator 8.2).
  • Data: Quantitative – statistical sample and permanent plots
  • Variables:
    • Tree species, diameter, defect, height, and age
    • Sapling species and diameter
    • Shrub species and percent cover
    • Number of snags
  • Forms:

Forest Stand

  • Purpose: Track important ecological and physical attributes through time.
  • Data: Qualitative – walk transects through the forest
  • Variables:
    • Forest health and ecological hotspots
    • Wildlife
    • Trees and shrubs
  • Form: Stand Assessment

Roads

  • Purpose: Detect and track road deterioration, maintenance needs, or negative environmental impacts.
  • Data: Qualitative – traverse road segments
  • Variables:
    • Road issues and severity
    • Maintenance needs
    • Appropriateness of culvert size compared to stream
    • Passability of culverts on fish bearing streams
  • Form: Roads

Streams and Wetlands

  • Purpose: Track general stream conditions and detect any detrimental disturbance impacts.
  • Data: Qualitative – walk stream segments and around wetlands
  • Variables:
    • Channel and wetland characteristics
    • Water quality
    • Vegetation
    • Stream organisms
    • Wetland wildlife
    • Large woody debris
  • Forms:

Biodiversity

Carbon Sequestration

  • Purpose:
    • Quantify forest carbon storage
    • Enter voluntary and/or regulatory carbon offset markets
  • Data: Quantitative – inventory with permanent plots, and carbon calculator
  • Variables:
    • Species, diameter, height of standing live trees
    • Diameter, height, and decay class of standing dead trees
    • Volume of harvested wood products
  • Tool: Carbon Calculator

Other Ecosystem Services

  • Purpose:
    • Assess baseline ecosystem health and anticipate management and/or conservation impacts
    • Enter voluntary and/or regulatory
  • Data: Quantitative and Qualitative
  • ToolsWillamette Partnership Field Tools

latest news & Events

Resources for San Juan County Forest Owners

Northwest Natural Resource Group and our partners have hosted ecological forestry workshops in the San Juan Islands since 2012. These resources are specifically for San Juan County forest owners who are interested in learning techniques to reduce fire risk, increase forest value, manage timber sales, market forest products, and improve the ecological and economic health of island forests.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Forest Owners

These days, typical New Year resolutions include exercising more and making time to be outside with nature. It’s also common for forest owners to have a “been meaning to do” list for their land. Thus, forest owners are especially fortunate as they can accomplish three goals in one effort by getting out for a walk in their woods to spend time in nature and observe their forest. All the better that they can prioritize forest stewardship activities for the new year.

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