Smart Forests Initiative

Smart Forests will provide an integrated technological platform to monitor and respond to environmental change at the local to continental scales.forest service  
Why Smart Forests?

Our national forests and rangelands are one of the nation’s greatest national assets. The Forest Service’s Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) provide resources for science and sound management to help protect the health and productivity of these lands. Science and land management depend on a strong foundation of reliable data. While scientists have been collecting data on EFRs for many decades, a new generation of environmental sensors and wireless sensor communications is providing a game change in our ability to collect and transmit high frequency, high quality data to stakeholders more rapidly than ever before. This new cybertechnology is allowing us to better measure and monitor the physical, chemical and biological pulse of our forests and rangelands in near real time.

At Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) throughout the United States, the USDA Forest Service is investing in this new generation of sensors and associated technology to create the Smart Forests Network. Smart Forests is an integrated research and monitoring program for the nation’s air, water, and forest and rangeland resources that will allow scientists to more efficiently and rapidly respond to environmental change at the local to continental scales.

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Smart Forests Will:

    -- Develop and implement cyber infrastructure to upgrade and enhance environmental monitoring at long-term research sites that are distributed strategically across major geographic, climatic, vegetation and land-use gradients.
    -- Collect and wirelessly transmit to a single web portal a foundational set of environmental measurements from these sites in real time.
    -- Apply visualization, modeling and outreach tools to engage researchers, resource managers, educators and the public with "Smart Forest" data.
    -- Provide a research base for addressing local-, regional- and continental-scale issues relative to the health and sustainability of the nation’s forests and rangelands.
For more information:
EFR Smart Forests Initiative - Draft Strategic Plan
EFR Smart Forests Initiative - Executive Summary
EFR Smart Forests Cyber Technology Survey
  Link to Map of Experimental Forests and Rangelands

Our Smart Forests map, at right, illustrates the concept of an integrated EFR cyber forest network.
Go to full-screen map...