COLLEGE STATION — Can’t see the forest for the trees? Now you can.
Texas A&M Forest Service on Wednesday unveiled a new web portal designed to showcase the benefits that trees and forests provide to the Lone Star State and drive economic development in the timber and wood products industry.
The Texas Forest Information Portal — accessible online at www.texasforestinfo.com — lets users identify where different trees and forests are located across the state and see the environmental benefits they provide.
Geared for landowners, natural resource managers, local community groups, educators and investors, the interactive website allows users to explore maps, query data and generate summary statistics and printable reports.
“Texas forests provide significant economic and ecological benefits to the people of Texas,” said Tom Boggus, director and state forester of Texas A&M Forest Service. “This innovative tool will help inform and educate Texans about our valuable forest resources and help ensure they are available to enjoy now and in the future.”
The portal serves as a clearinghouse for readily-available, easily-accessible information about trees and forests in Texas. Currently, the site offers three applications: Timber Supply Analysis, Forest Distribution and Forest Values, all of which can be customized by geographic area using data derived by the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, as well as other resources.
Timber Supply Analysis estimates the timberland area, as well as timber volume, growth and removals. Forest Distribution features tree distribution and biomass. Forest Values estimates the economic value attached to certain environmental benefits that forests and trees provide.
Additional applications under development include those related to economic impact, which will summarize estimated economic impacts of the forest sector in Texas, and forest products, which will provide a searchable database of forest products industries.
Future applications still in the planning stages include those featuring urban tree canopy and Texas Tree Trails, both of which will be geared to people seeking information about trees in urban and residential areas.
The portal was developed by the Texas A&M Forest Service Sustainable Forestry Department.