Management Indicator Species

The 1982 Planning regulations (36 CFR Sec. 219.19(a)(1)) to implement the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) require that Management Indicator Species (MIS) be identified as part of the forest plan.

Management Indicator Species and Management Indicator Habitats (MIH) are”…plant and animal species, communities, or special habitats selected for their emphasis in planning, and which are monitored during forest plan implementation in order to assess the effects of management activities on their populations and the populations of other species with similar habitat needs which they may represent” (Forest Service Manual 2620.5, Washington Office amendment 2600-91-5).

MIS serve multiple functions in forest planning: focusing management direction developed in the alternatives, providing a means to analyze effects on biological diversity, and serving as a reliable feedback mechanism during forest plan implementation. The latter is accomplished by monitoring population trends in relationship to habitat changes (36 CFR Sec. 219.19 (a)(6)).

“Management indicators provide a means of monitoring and evaluating the effects of actions on biotic resources, including specific species, communities, habitats, and interrelationships among organisms. Management Indicators representing overall objectives for wildlife, fish, and plants may include species, groups of species with similar habitat relationships, or habitats that are of high concern” (Forest Service Manual 2621.1)