Expert Report

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

This study, which included a one and one-half day workshop, conducted, and reviewed the expertise, capacity, and future needs of forestry research organizations and current approaches and capacity of natural resource education to meet challenges of the next 10 to 15 years.

Key Messages

  • Important foundation forestry research needs are biology, ecology, and silviculture; forest genetics; forest management, economics, and policy; and wood and materials science.
  • Recent budget cuts in all states in the 2000s, however, suggest that stable academic research and education support is likely to be at risk as well now.
  • The effects of reduced research and education capacity have been the largest with the USDA Forest Service research branch, but extend to the forest products sector and most state forestry research organizations as well.
  • The scientific capacity in forestry research and education in the United States is at risk. This report identifies many encouraging facts regarding the extent and diversity of forestry research capacity.