Volume 28, No. 03 - March 9, 2016

2016 FIA National User Group Meeting

The Forest Inventory and Analysis program of the U.S. Forest Service is the most important source of data and information about forest conditions and trends in the United States. The FIA Program relies on periodic meetings with users and clients to ensure that the Program is providing the highest quality service and meeting planned objectives. The 2016 National FIA User Group Meeting will be in Charleston, South Carolina on April 27–28. Participants will learn about current issues affecting the FIA Program, discuss applications of FIA data, and provide input to FIA program leaders on the needs and priorities of FIA data users. 

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Publication reviews factors influencing recent trends in forest health responses to climate change

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has projected that greenhouse gas-induced climate change will adversely impact forests in the years and decades to come and that many species will therefore be driven to extinction, some in the next few decades. A recent paper reviews trends in United States forest health responses to climate change, and considers the historical context for recent trends, physiological tolerances of trees, and the effect of rising CO2 on tree growth rates and responses to stressors.

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Federal agencies finalize changes to critical habitat regulations

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service finalized revisions to regulations related to implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and issued a new policy. The revisions and the new policy address “critical habitat,” which the ESA defines as specific areas that contain “physical or biological features essential to the conservation” of species listed under the ESA and that “may require special management consideration or protection.”

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U.S. Forest Service publishes report on effects of drought on forests and rangelands in the United States

The U.S. Forest Service recently released a new report, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, that provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. forests and rangelands. The report examines ways to understand and mitigate the effects of drought on forests and rangeland.

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EPA invites public comment on draft inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2014 was being made available for a 30-day public review and comment period. The document summarizes annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases from 1990 through 2014 by source category and sector. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon fluxes in U.S. agricultural and forest lands. 

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