Inaugural forest survey in American Samoa can address climate change and inform land usage
The forests of American Samoa provide the U.S. territory’s residents with numerous ecological, cultural and economic values. They also serve as home to native plant and wildlife species. However, the conservation and protection of American Samoa’s forests are challenged by the effects of climate change and unchecked and uninformed land usage.
In response, the American Samoa Community College Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources Forestry Program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Forest Service, completed the first Forest Inventory and Analysis for American Samoa. The project took about two months to complete and required hiking and surveying many of the territory’s steep and dangerous slopes and thick forests.
As a result, the data collected from the Forest Inventory and Analysis can answer questions about tree species, size and overall health; tree growth and mortality; carbon storage; changes in forest cover and use over time; and the presence and severity of invasive plants and pathogens. The inventory data can also be used by landowners, policymakers, environmental agencies and students to understand the past, present and future conditions of the forests in American Samoa.
Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/6095