Inventory, Monitoring, and
A Strategy to Improve the
Update and Feedback Session with Employees and Partners
December 5, 2011
Developing a Strategy for IM&A Improvements
Next Steps and Collaborative Opportunities
IM&A Project Purpose
Identify and recommend improvements to achieve
an agency-wide IM&A system that is integrated,
aligned, effective and efficient in supporting
priority business requirements of the Forest
Service and partners.
IM&A System Improvement:
Environmental threats and evolving “business
Increasing need for collaboration and
Available resources are not likely to increase.
There is a need to be more proactive in assessing
and managing risks and impacts.
IM&A Problem Statement
The Forest Service does not have a
comprehensive system for managing IM&A
– We lack consistent, accurate, timely, transparent and
accessible resource information to answer core
– We do not have effective policy, direction, processes
and governance for IM&A activities and investments.
– Collaboration with partners is not as consistent and
inclusive as it needs to be.
– Significant data gaps and redundancies exist within
Land managers have the resource information they need to
manage all lands in a collaborative way.
To support this, an IM&A system needs to:
– Work with partners and stakeholders toward shared
– Integrate Forest Service programs in this common effort.
– Continually implement program and process
of the IM&A System
IM&A information, technology and processes:
Use the best available science (scientific credibility).
Are accessible and accurate.
Support an all-lands approach.
Are collaborative, transparent, timely, and useful.
Are based on national standards and processes
developed with partners.
– Are adaptive and responsive to changing conditions and
Broad Scope of the IM&A System
Address priority business requirements such as:
– Ecosystem / watershed health and sustainability
– National & broad scale FS and partner assessments
– Adapting to a changing climate – Climate Change
– New Planning Rule (broad-scale monitoring)
– Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program
– Montreal Process reporting
Define priority Forest Service and partner
Identify the associated core management
Improve the IM&A system to focus on delivering
the information that answers those core
“Core” Information Concept
Questions, clarifications, comments
related to IM&A background?
IM&A System Improvement
Strategy: The Journey
Where we’ve been and where we are:
IM&A Roundtable: Internal and external
Steering Committee and Core Team
Leadership and partner engagement
Draft IM&A Strategy
INCLUDE all lands and all partners.
1) Address IM&A issues with an all-lands approach.
2) Address partner business needs and stakeholder
Draft IM&A Strategy
Provide CREDIBLE information.
1) Focus on the right information – identify and apply
the best available knowledge and tools.
2) Ensure quality and relevance of the science behind
3) Ensure quality and consistency of information.
4) Ensure accessibility and transparency of
information through timely delivery of information,
technology, protocols and tools for use by
managers, policymakers, partners and the public.
Draft IM&A Strategy
Effectively RESPOND and adapt.
1) Ensure the IM&A system is dynamic and supports
management that is responsive to social,
economic and ecological change.
2) Ensure the IM&A system is responsive to changing
IM&A Case Studies
Purpose: To help identify system-wide IM&A
improvements, implementation actions
and “early successes.”
Initial Focus Areas:
Critical loads of air pollution
Aquatics inventory and monitoring
Vegetation status and trends
Carbon assessment and management
Land management plan (LMP) broad-scale
IM&A Strategy and
Case Study Relationships
Carbon Case Study
The following tools and data sources are being
enhanced and expanded:
– NFS Bioenergy Carbon Calculator
– Product Carbon Tracker tool
– Forest Carbon Management Framework
– Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity
– National Land Cover Database (NLCD) tree canopy
Aquatics Case Study
Proposing a national stream survey network to
assess status and trends of streams, with
temperature and macro-invertebrates as initial
Example of successful monitoring program in
Pacific and Interior Northwest
Currently, no national standards for collection and
Leveraging partner programs (USGS and USEPA)
Questions, comments on
strategy and case studies?
Photograph courtesy of NRCS
Working with Partners
Photos courtesy of NRCS and the
Alliance of Aquatic Resource
Monitoring, Dickinson College
Strategy development, review and refinement
Case Study reports
Issues and Challenges
What?!! There’s no new funding for this?
Collaboration – not easy, not fast
– Think beyond traditional boundaries
Team approach (broader than “corporate”)
Integrate …in all directions (up, down, sideways)
Transparent, accessible information
– Be adaptive, nimble, and better at change
Be prepared for changes in work (duties, methods, etc.)
Governance – rules for IM&A decision making
Governance of IM&A
Inherent in all elements of IM&A System
Collaboration with partners
Rules and procedures for decision making
– Who, how and when
– Clear and understood by those affected
Strategic, tactical & operational decisions at
all levels of the organization(s) (“Wedding
– Appropriately transparent, aligned & integrated
Transparency of decisions made and
related performance accountability
Steps to Success
We are building on prior efforts, current
successful programs, and lessons learned.
We are being strategic and concentrating on what
is most important.
The system will be adaptive, through phased
implementation, innovation, and continuous
All FS deputy areas are involved and committed.
We are engaging our partners.
Thank you for participating!
Please complete the post-meeting survey
NFF will provide a web link to the questionnaire
For additional information, please contact:
Tracy Hancock, USDA Forest Service