Forest & Grassland Health
Forest Health Protection
With offices located in Atlanta, GA, Alexandria, LA and Asheville, NC, the Southern Region's Forest Health Protection program provides technical assistant in the prevention, detection, evaluation, and suppression of forest insects, disease, and plant pest problems.
Who We Are
Forest Health Protection (FHP) traces its roots to the early 1960s. Plagued by serious insect and disease outbreaks, such as southern pine beetle, chestnut blight, gypsy moth and fusiform rust, the Forest Service saw the need for a specialized unit designed to work exclusively on pest problems related to forest resource productivity and management.
The unit provides technical assistance in the prevention, detection, evaluation, and suppression of forest insect and disease pest problems. In addition, expertise is available in the areas of seed orchard pest management, nursery disease problems, pesticide use, protection of wood in use, and remote sensing for monitoring insect populations and/or damage.
FHP is comparable to other specialized Forest Service units, such as engineering, recreation, and wildlife. The most significant difference is that we provide forest health assistance not only to managers of National Forests, but to managers of all forested lands.
Where We Work
FHP maintains three offices in the Southern Region. Our headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia and we have two field offices:
- Our office in Alexandria, Louisiana services the Western Gulf States and one in Asheville, North Carolina which serves the Southeastern United States: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama.
- The Asheville field office serves Virginia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. FHP also administers the Resistance Screening Center near Asheville. There seedlings are screened for genetic resistance to destructive diseases.
Learn More: Southern Pine Beetle
A summary of spatial forest disturbance data across Region 8, compiled by the Forest Health Monitoring Program for survey year 2020, presented using an interactive ESRI storymap.
With the assistance of our state forestry cooperative partners, we annually survey forested areas of the South for forest health conditions. We conduct our surveys from aircraft to enable us to cover such a large area each year.
Learn more about Laurel Wilt and explore the updated regional infestation map for Laurel Wilt Disease.
Southern Pine Beetle is the most damaging insect pest of pines in the Eastern United States, severely impacting the region’s wildlife habitat, tourism and wood-based industries, and watershed health.
Why is Longleaf Pine Important?
Forest Service partners at The Longleaf Partnership Council are pleased to announce a new communications fact sheet, Longleaf Pine: A Tall Drink of Water. This informational product showcases how protecting and restoring longleaf pine forests can help keep help keep drinking water safe, reliable, and affordable. The fact sheet also highlights how good stewardship can contribute to drinking water and the benefits for water utilities of investing in longleaf restoration.
Pest Alert: Sugarberry Dieback and Mortality
Pest Alert for Sugarberry dieback and mortality, December 2019.
Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program Story Map
Interactive story map demonstrating the treatments involved in the SPB Prevention Program.
Laurel Wilt Pest Alert
Laurel Wilt USFS Pest Alert, October 2019.
USFS Southern Forest Health Newsletter Summer 2019
A quarterly newsletter produced jointly by Southern Research Station and Forest Health Protection Southern Region.