The Forest Service's Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) recently launched its forest threats summary viewer, a tool that will provide images, threat distribution maps, additional forestry contact information, and brief descriptions about forest threats throughout the eastern U.S. EFETAC partnered with the University of North Carolina Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) to develop the tool.
"The forest threats summary viewer is an excellent tool for individuals concerned about environmental threats to healthy forests, or how these threats affect trees in their backyard," says Danny C. Lee, EFETAC Director. "The viewer will make forest research more relevant and useful to forest land managers and homeowners by connecting them with resources to help address their concerns."
The viewer is a user-friendly, Web-based tool searchable by forest threat (e.g., hemlock woolly adelgid) or by State. Threats are categorized by today's familiar forest concerns, including invasive plants, insects and diseases, loss of open space, climate change, and wildland fire. The user is also provided current and credible Web links to other Federal, State, and local resources that offer additional in-depth information. This initial version of the multi-phased tool will be continually updated with environmental threats as well as additional search features.
"UNC Asheville is excited to be working with the Forest Service on a project that provides an innovative and dynamic way for people to access information on forest threats," said Karin Lichtenstein, NEMAC project manager and research associate. "This new collaboration allows students to work directly on applied research projects and create real products for the public that help the environment."
EFETAC and NEMAC joined forces in June 2006 to create user-friendly tools that share the latest research and expertise concerning threats to forest health. These tools will assist forest landowners, managers, policy makers, scientists, and general audiences make sound land management decisions. The tool is available at the EFETAC's website, http://www.forestthreats.org.
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