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Criterion 7 Indicator 60
Rationale
The Availability and Extent of Up-To-Date Data, Statistics, and Other Information Important to Measuring or Describing Indicators Associated With Criteria 1-7
 
Forests are more likely to be managed on a sustainable basis if relevant forest information is up-to-date and easily available to decision-makers, forest managers, and the general public. Better knowledge will lead to better decisions at all levels of forest management. The following evaluation looks at the availability and extent of information for all seven criteria in this report.

Evaluation
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 1
Data from classified satellite imagery is used to describe indicators 1 through 5, which address ecosystem diversity. This data is currently available for most of the state. Data for indicators 6 through 9, which address species and genetic diversity, is incomplete and limited to small geographic areas.
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 2
Data has been collected for many years that describes the ability to maintain the productive capacity of forests (indicators 10 through 14), but it has been targeted to timber production. Data is not available on the production and removal of forest products other than timber.
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 3
Some information about ecosystem health is available from the U.S. Forest Service’s forest health monitoring program. However, there is little information available that would make it possible to compare current conditions with the range of historic conditions.
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 4
Many scientific studies have been conducted on the condition of soil and water resources, but the data needed to describe these resources over large areas has not been collected in a systematic way. Thus there is limited information to answer the indicators.
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 5
Biomass and carbon storage can be estimated for commercial timber land from existing plot data, but data is limited for other lands.
 
Availability and extent of information for Criterion 6
In general, data is available to quantify economic values, but is limited for social values.
 

Trends
 
A troubling trend is that we are becoming data-rich and knowledge-poor. For example, with the increase in the number of satellites and the improvements in the resolution of satellite images, we have vast quantities of raw digital data. However, there is very limited funding for analyzing, interpreting, and classifying the data.