USDA Forest Service Resource Information Group

Directives for Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment

The Resource Information Group (RIG) is responsible for establishing agency policy regarding inventory, monitoring, and assessment. That policy has been widely scattered across the Forest Service's directive system. An effort is currently underway to consolidate that direction into a single location - proposed as chapter 1940 of the Forest Service Manual - for use by line officers and primary staff. Eventually, Forest Service Handbook sections will house more specific direction for subject matter experts and others. The following material includes the current draft policy, background material and presentations, and instructions for providing review comments.


Land management is an adaptive process of checking where you are against where you want to go and making adjustments. Assessing social, economic, and ecological conditions and trends allows us to gauge progress towards land management goals for the Forest Service and for each Forest Service unit. Inventory, monitoring, and assessment are critical activities for adaptive land management because results from those activities allow us to know how we are doing.

Forest Service leadership is committed to using state-of-the-art methods and a systems approach to provide highly credible resource information and data to meet a wide range of customer business needs in collaboration with our land management partners. The proposed directive will establish the management framework for resource inventories, monitoring, and assessments, and codify the broad authorities, management objectives, policies, responsibilities, and standards.

Manual Direction


The proposed direction meets four agency needs:

  1. An organizing framework for resource information management;
  2. A basis for accountable program management and planning for inventory, monitoring, and assessment work;
  3. A basis for improving the consistency and efficiency of information management processes;
  4. Clear expectations regarding coordination and collaboration across deputy areas and with partners to accomplish the work of inventory, monitoring, and assessment.

Ecosystem inventory and monitoring is required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (RPA) as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA).

Related Projects

USDA Forest Service
Ecosystem Management Coordination (EMC)
1400 Independence Ave.
Mailstop: 1104
Washington, DC 20250-1104

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