Aerial Insect and Disease Surveys

Intermountain Region 4 and Northern Region 1

Aviation Program

The Forest Health Protection (FHP) Aviation Program in Regions 1 and 4 conduct annual insect and disease detection surveys, primarily using fixed-wing aircraft. Most flights are for aerial sketch map surveys and aerial photography. However, FHP may also contract aircraft for aerial spraying associated with insect suppression, eradication, spray trails, or study/research projects.


The purpose of an Aerial Detection Survey (ADS) is to:

  • Detect new outbreaks or identify previously undetected outbreaks of forest pests
  • Monitor existing outbreaks
  • Provide timely information for management planning
  • Provide information for forest health assessments and project plans

Survey Season

Aerial insect and disease surveys begin the first part of July continuing through the end of September and often into October. Survey flights take off 8 or 9 am and conclude before 3 pm to take advantage of optimal light conditions.


New 2021 ADS User maps

R1 and R4 USGS Quad map



Aerial Detection Survey (ADS)