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Forest Inventory & Analysis

What FIA Is

Two FIA foresters measuring trees
Did you know that there are people whose job it is to walk in the woods every day counting and measuring trees across the state? These specially trained foresters work for the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, which is an ongoing forest “census” that’s used to describe the amount, type, size and overall condition of our forests. 

The South Carolina Forestry Commission’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program conducts an ongoing forest “census” that is used to describe the extent, type, size and overall health of our forests. The FIA program has been in continuous operation since the 1930s. An initiative of the US Forest Service, the nationwide data collection program is now conducted primarily by state forestry agencies in the South.

In South Carolina, three 2-person Forestry Commission crews measure 2,719 permanent forested plots over a five-year period. Each crew is assigned to one of the three agency regions with headquarters at Florence, Columbia and Newberry.

The FIA crews are led by a program manager located at the Columbia headquarters. The permanent plots are located on both public and private forestlands. Each plot is 1/6th of an acre and represents 6,000 acres of South Carolina forestland. Over 100 individual attributes are measured on each plot in order to describe the tree species, size and health. These data provide accurate information about the sustainability of our forested resource in South Carolina.


Core FIA data

Forest area

Timber volume and prices

Mill information

For more information on the FIA program and data, contact FIA Program Manager Byron Rominger at brominger@scfc.gov or (803) 896-8804.