Natural Resource Manager

NRM and NRIS Logos

The Natural Resource Manager (NRM) is a system of database tools for managing Agency data across the Forest Service. Natural Resource Manager includes: Forest Service ACtivity Tracking System (FACTS), Infrastructure (Infra), Natural Resource Information System (NRIS), and Timber Information Manager (TIM) applications. NRM applications provide tools for most of the agency's natural resource business areas.

NRM Products

NRM provides information and support for a variety of database, data collection, and analysis products. Most of the NRM products are accessible only within the Forest Service's computing environment. If you do not have access to the Forest Service Intranet and have questions about NRM products, please contact us.


The Air application helps air resource managers analyze the effects of air pollutants on natural, cultural, and social resources on lands managed by the Forest Service.

Aquatic Surveys (AqS)

Aquatic Surveys (AqS) supports ecological and physical stream variables for three hierarchical levels of the riverine system on National Forest System (NFS) lands: valley segments, stream reaches and channel units. Data collected about aquatic fauna communities (fish, invertebrates, macroinvertebrates, amphibians, reptiles) in streams, lakes and spring environments are supported.

Aquatic Surveys includes data, field notes and digital images about physical dimensions and conditions (e.g., wetted and bankfull dimensions, wood, substrate, bank condition, gradient), continuous water and air temperature monitoring, and the aquatic organisms occupying the waterbody being surveyed. The primary user-base for AqS includes biologists, hydrologists, and ecologists. The mapping and reporting tools deliver raw or summarized aquatic data to any user. Using Aquatic Surveys, information can be managed and consumed at all scales.

Data Exchange (DX)

Data Exchange (DX) allows a person with high-level data management and manipulation skills to clean and migrate tabular and spatial data into NRM from external sources. The DX is also used for the migration of data from Portable Data Recorder (PDR) mobile applications into NRM. Data Exchange tools are available:

  • Aquatic Surveys
  • Invasive Species
  • Map Units
  • Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring Sample points
  • Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Plants
  • Watershed Improvement Tracking
  • Wildlife

Additional DX tools are developed as identified by Program Managers and application requirements.

Field Sampled Vegetation (FSVeg)

Field Sampled Vegetation (FSVeg) stores data about trees, fuels, down woody material, surface cover, and understory vegetation. FSVeg supports the business of common stand exam, fuels data collection, permanent grid inventories, and other vegetation inventory collection processes.

More FSVeg information, documentation, and software...

Field Sampled Vegetation Spatial (FSVeg Spatial)

FSVeg Spatial manages spatial and tabular vegetation data in one place, at one time. It contains three types of data:

  1. The vegetation polygon feature class (required to use FSVeg Spatial),
  2. The vegetation point feature class, and
  3. Non-stand-exam vegetation data associated with the polygon feature class.

NRM is working with units to move vegetation data from forests into the FSVeg Spatial application.

Inventory and Mapping

Inventory and Mapping for Terrestrial Ecological Units, non-NASIS Soils and Potential Natural Vegetation is a spatial application that supports sampling, mapping, characterization, interpretation, and classification of terrestrial natural resources. Specifically supporting Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory (TEUI) project work, and inventories for Geology, Soils, and Potential Natural Vegetation.

National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM)

National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) software manages information gathered from on-site surveys of recreation visitors to lands managed by the Forest Service. For information about NVUM’s statistical methodology, visit Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness Programs National Visitor Use Monitoring Program. Data collection is based on a stratified random sample methodology to develop sound estimates of visitor use, characteristics, satisfaction, and spending information for each national forest.

The NVUM Results software is now available to the public on the Internet. It delivers NVUM statistics at the national, regional and forest scales using 70 pre-defined reports and maps. Results from individual forests can be combined using the Results software to access multiple-forests, regional, and national estimates of the numbers and types of recreation visits. Reports are available for all years beginning with fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 to September 31, 2005).

Proceed to the NVUM Results application…

Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring

Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring supports national protocols for vegetation and ground cover sampling, general site characterization and detailed soil pedon descriptions. The application supports site characterization, interpretations and classifications; it also accommodates casual point observations with basic attributes.

National vegetation sampling protocols supported by the application include: Tree/Snag, Ocular Macroplot, Line Intercept, Cover Frequency, Nested Rooted Frequency, Robel Pole, Density, Paced Transect, Macroplot, Riparian Greenline–Winward, Riparian Cross Section–Winward, and Riparian Woody Regeneration–Winward. Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring is a spatial application intended for defined projects with formal protocol- or program-driven inventories.

Resources and References

  • Sampling Vegetation Attributes (PDF, 18.1 MB) - This interagency monitoring guide provides the basis for consistent, uniform, and standard vegetation sampling that is economical, repeatable, statistically reliable, and technically adequate. It includes primary sampling methods used across the West.
  • Measuring and Monitoring Vegetation Populations (PDF, 5.1 MB) - This interagency technical reference applies to single-species and to some plant community monitoring. It contains sections for planning, design, sampling, analysis, and decision-making.
  • Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems, Volumes 1 and 2 - This manual describes sample design approaches and quantitative methods used to monitor three key attributes of landscape and ecosystem sustainability: soil and site stability, hydrologic function and biotic integrity. These methods are referenced in "Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health". The quantitative information collected can be used to provide the foundation for assessing and evaluating the degree to which goals and/or values are being met by current landscape management.
  • Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (PDF, 5.8 MB) - This interagency technical reference was designed to implement the qualitative assessment of rangeland health. It is for use by individuals with a good understanding of the ecological sites being evaluated. The protocol can provide a preliminary assessment of soil/site stability, hydrologic function, and biotic integrity at the ecological site level. Quantitative measures for the indicators can be found in the "Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems".
  • Restoring Western Ranges and Wildlands - This three volume publication provides background for philosophy, processes, plant materials selection, site preparation, and seed and seeding equipment for revegetating disturbed rangelands, emphasizing use of native species. It includes guidelines for planning, conducting, and managing the process. It contains a compilation of rangeland revegetation research conducted over the last several decades to aid practitioners in reestablishing healthy communities and curbing the spread of invasive species.
  • Vegetation Monitoring in a Management Context - This interagency field course teaches the basic skills to design and implement a vegetation monitoring program.

Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plants, and Invasive Species (TESP/IS)

TESP/IS support national data collection standards for combined TESP and invasive species surveys, TESP element-occurrences, and Invasive Species Inventories.

Watershed Improvement Tracking (WIT)

Watershed Improvement Tracking (WIT) manages data, observations and planning details about sites that need to be (or have been) restored or improved with the intent of benefiting watershed and aquatic ecosystem health and function. The application is a watershed restoration activity tracker that addresses site conditions, administrative plans and actions, and outcomes. The primary users of WIT are biologists and hydrologists; however, the reporting products deliver raw or summarized information valuable for project leaders, program managers, and public relations staff.

Water Rights and Uses (WRU)

Water Rights and Uses (WRU) tracks state and federally recognized water uses and related information regarding the water source, beneficial uses, quantity, and periods of water use. The application also tracks core information about water rights that may be associated to the water use and the legal and administrative actions that occur. Data collected during site visits to water use system components includes descriptions and dimensions of the water use system as well as site maps, reports and digital photographs. Integration with other Forest Service corporate applications including Automated Lands Project (ALP) and Infra are also supported to provide for a variety of integrated reports.

Watershed Classification and Assessment Tracking Tool (WCATT)

NRM developed the Watershed Classification and Assessment Tracking Tool (WCATT) application in support of the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) to provide a nationally consistent approach for classifying watershed condition. The tool supports the entering, editing and reporting of classification and assessment data for watersheds that contain U.S. Forest Service lands. WCATT provides a Geographic Information System (GIS) approach to data input for tracking Watershed Classification by 12-digit hydrologic units by year. The Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Directors area sponsor it.


Wildlife supports terrestrial animal observations and site inventories.

Tools for Getting and Using NRM Data

NRM uses common NRM data sources and output tools to provide data for analysis. NRM provides spatial and tabular outputs at many scales. Data can be obtained from the Geospatial Interface (GI), I-Web Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW), I-Web User Views, I-Web MS Access/Excel Add-in Tool, and using reporting tools available through applications. In 2010 NRM is beginning an Output Project to facilitate better output creation, documentation and marketing.

  • INtegrated FOrest Resource Management System (INFORMS) is a GIS-based decision support framework for tasks associated with watershed and project-level planning. INFORMS integrates analysis tools like the Forest Vegetation Simulator, and various fire analysis tools for ease of use; and facilitates analysis of NRM data.
  • Geospatial Interface (GI) is a GIS tool that simplifies obtaining and symbolizing spatial layers from different sources. The GI can integrate spatial and tabular data from different sources to create new, localized outputs.
  • Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) is a repository of summarized and integrated spatial and tabular corporate data. The CDW is populated with National and Regional-scale information from NRM products. The GIS Data Dictionary outputs were the first datasets migrated to the CDW.
  • I-Web Access and Excel Add-In allows users to create custom queries from the corporate database using Microsoft Access and Excel.
  • I-Web User Views allow users to build, refine, and save custom tabular queries.

Key Contacts

USDA Forest Service
Ecosystem Management Coordination (EMC) - NRIS
Yates Federal Bldg. 3CEN
201 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20250!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zijQwgwNHCwN_DI8zPyBcqYKBfkO2oCABZcx5g/?navtype=&cid=fsbdev7_021610&navid=130230180000000&pnavid=130230000000000&ss=11&position=Welcome.Html&ttype=detail&pname=Forest%20Service%20-%20Data2C%20Maps