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Over 8 percent (2.96 million acres) of Iowa is covered by trees and forests. Our forests have significant impacts on our agricultural-based economy, protection of our drinking water supply, critical for wildlife habitat and overall enjoyment of the place that we call Iowa. Wood industries employ over 7,000 Iowans, producing lumber and high quality wood products. Trees in our small and large communities, our "urban forests," increase property values and conserve cooling and heating energy. Our forests are vital to our state's future.
Because our forest resources are valuable to the citizens of Iowa, the Bureau of Forestry began monitoring forest and tree health conditions in the late 1970's. This monitoring effort today is used to determine overall forest and tree health conditions, the status of natural and exotic insect, disease, and invasive species problems, and to provide up-to-date information for private and public managers to aid in the sustained management of Iowa's forest resources.
Cooperative monitoring efforts with Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA Plant Protection Quarantine (PPQ), municipal foresters, and private land owners encourages efficient monitoring efforts. In addition, cooperation fosters improved communications to professionals and others on Iowa's forest resource management issues.
Forest Health Threats
Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester’s conduct surveys, evaluations, and monitor for forest insects, forest diseases, invasive plants, and forest management practices. This is done to determine the status, changes, and trends in forest health conditions. The Forestry Bureau utilizes the data from ground surveys, aerial surveys, and other data sources to develop a comprehensive management approach to address forest health issues that affect the sustainability of Iowa’s forest ecosystems. The findings are compiled into a Forest Health Highlights for each year and can be found below.
Iowa Forest Health Highlights 2015
Iowa Forest Health Highlights 2014
Iowa Forest Health Highlights 2013
Iowa Forest Health Highlights 2012
Iowa Forest Health Highlights 2011
Iowa Forest Health Report 2010
Iowa Forest Health Report 2009
Iowa Forest Health Report 2008