Montgomery, AL (STL.News) – Incredible accuracy and speed are the standard for the Alabama Forestry Commission Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) team. Recently recorded FIA test scores are a testament to the hard work and dedication that our state’s foresters demonstrate every day in their field work.
Each year, FIA foresters from the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) are periodically reviewed by the USDA Forest Service in a Quality Assurance Quality Control (QAQC) check of forest plots where they are graded on the accuracy of all collected data ranging from tree species identification to the diameter of tree trunks. The review is specifically conducted by the Southern Research Station within the Forest Service, and nearly a quarter of all FIA plots are reviewed annually across Alabama.
A grade for an FIA forester is measured on a 100-point scale where the forester must maintain a test average of 87 to keep their FIA certification. Since May 2019, the FIA foresters have achieved scores of 99.8, 99.8, 99.5, 99.5, and 99.4. Averaging each foresters’ last two scores, 12 scores in all, yields 99 percent. This sustained excellence is without precedent.
The culmination of this diligent work from the AFC’s FIA program has allowed Alabama to be one of the leaders nationally in recording forest inventory data. Credit of the work quality is given to FIA foresters Shannon Anderson, Josh Angel, Bonnie Coleman, Gary Kolb, Grayson Matthews, William Webb, and their assisting forestry specialists. Alabama is expected to post its 2019 FIA data soon and will be the first state in the nation to do so this year.