Monitoring & Evaluation Program

Monitoring and evaluation is a quality control process required for implementation of the Tongass Forest Plan; it is essential in implementation of the adaptive management strategy. 

The purpose of a monitoring program is to enable the Responsible Official (Forest Supervisor) to determine if a change may be needed in the Forest Plan (36 CFR 219.12) Monitoring questions and indicators are designed to inform the management of resources, including testing relevant assumptions, tracking relevant changes, and measuring management progress toward achieving or maintaining the desired conditions or objectives. Evaluation is the process for interpreting monitoring data and information to determine whether changes in management direction are needed. Monitoring and evaluation comprise an essential feedback mechanism within an adaptive management framework to provide the public, the Forest Service, and other concerned resource agencies with information on the progress and results of forest plan implementation. 

Note: All reports are in Adobe PDF format. Free Adobe Acrobat® Reader software for reading/downloading/printing PDF documents files is available from the following Web pages: 

Current Tongass Plan Monitoring Program

Administrative changes to the Tongass National Forest Plan Monitoring Program were approved on May 9, 2016. The changes were made to meet the 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219). The 2012 Planning Rule includes eight requirements in 36 CFR 219.12 (a)(5) for plan monitoring programs. The Plan Monitoring Program describes the eight requirements and identifies which monitoring questions meet each of those requirements.  It also outlines the changes made to the 2008 monitoring program to better align the Plan Monitoring Program with both the 2012 Planning Rule and the 2008 Forest Plan.  

The Tongass deferred action on two requirements: focal species and species of conservation concern. The requirement to monitor the status of focal species to assess ecological conditions is in 36 CFR 219.12(a)(5)(iii) and the requirement to monitor the status of ecological conditions to maintain viable populations of species of conservation concern is located at 36 CFR 219.12(a)(5)(iv). Once these species and their associated ecological conditions have been identified, relevant monitoring questions will be added or modified as necessary. The public will be notified of any proposed substantial administrative changes and will have the opportunity to comment at that time.

Substantive changes to the monitoring program made outside a forest plan revision or amendment process require notice to the public of the intended changes and consideration of public comments (36CFR 219.13(c)(1)). The public will be notified of any proposed substantial administrative changes and will have the opportunity to comment at that time. Administrative changes are not subject to the objection process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathy Tighe, Planning and GIS Staff Officer, Tongass National Forest, 907-228-6274,

Tongass Monitoring & Evaluation Reports

The 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219.12(d)) changed from annual to biennial monitoring and evaluation reports; the first biennial report for the Tongass National Forest covers Fiscal Years (FY) 2016 and 2017. The intent of the biennial report is to evaluate new information gathered through the plan monitoring program as well as any relevant information from broader-scale monitoring and indicates whether a change to the plan, management activities, or the monitoring program may be warranted. A five-year report is a comprehensive description of results for each monitoring question, and evaluation of the five years of data. 

Best Management Practices Monitoring 

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used to reduce or control nonpoint source pollution of water bodies and forms a key piece of Tongass National Forest  monitoring, in compliance with the National BMP Program ( The national program is on a two-year cycle for monitoring and reporting, and the Tongass Monitoring Reports include information on our compliance and results with that program.