Forest Inventory

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Acres of DNR forest lands re-inventoried

Why Is This Important?

Forests change due to growth and aging, succession, fire, windstorms, insects and diseases, forest management and other factors. A regularly updated field inventory is essential for tracking these changes and providing information for making sound forest management decisions.

What Is DNR Doing?

The DNR maintains information about its forestlands in one of its forest management information systems. The system contains stand-level forest inventory data on 5 million acres of DNR lands in the forested regions of the state. Inventory information includes overstory and understory tree species, shrubs and ground plants, timber volumes, stand age, site productivity, information on insects and diseases, and other useful information. 

Decisions about when, where, and how the DNR forest stands are treated rely on this information.

Target: Re-inventorying 150,000 acres each year is equivalent to a complete inventory every 20 years.

In recent years, the Division of Forestry has received additional funds to build capacity to achieve this target; however, a surge in retirements has limited the ability of the division to reach its full staffing plan. Once full staffing is achieved, the division expects to increase our target, re-inventorying 150,000 acres per year. This new target will reduce the length of the inventory cycle to 15 years. New technologies like LiDAR and unmanned aerial systems will make collecting this data more efficient.