International Activities

Resource conditions in other parts of the world could affect forest health in the United States. Introductions of invasive insects, diseases and plants from other countries can and have caused significant damage to U.S. forests and ecosystems. To help address these issues, the Forest Health Protection (FHP) Program has developed a strong international forest health component.

The four goals of the FHP international program are:

  • U.S. forests are protected from exotic pests.
  • North American countries have strong forest pest management programs.
  • Biological control options are in place to protect U.S. forests from pests.
  • Forest health technology and expertise are shared worldwide.

Reardon and colleagues at an Emerald Ash Borer cooperative project in China

The FHP International Activity Team (IAT) coordinates and tracks the FHP international activities for the FHP Director and works closely with the USDA Forest Service International Programs (IP) staff, as well as other partners. FHP provides IAT with a modest budget, but many of our activities are coordinated and funded in cooperation with other FS staff units such as IP and Research, and through other government agencies such as the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

McConnell and colleagues -- aerial survey training in Mexico; 2004

IAT strives to provide FHP staff with opportunities for networking with colleagues in other countries, and for professional development though experience in working in different cultures and ecosystems. Each year we prepare an accomplishment report and develop a list of planned activities for the coming year that links to our biennial Program of Work. Participants of international activities often prepare excellent trip reports. We maintain a database of skills and interests for FHP staff who are interested in international opportunities.

In addition, FHP shares information and technologies internationally to help countries strengthen their forest health and ecosystem management programs; and FHP benefits by the knowledge and shared technologies that we gain from our international partners. FHP personnel have participated in activities in over 20 countries in the last couple years.

photo taken during a FHM workshop in Mexico, 2009

Forest Health Monitoring workshop, Mexico, 2009 view 436K report