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Contact information
For information on the Wisconsin Urban Forest Assessment Program:
Brian Anderson
Forest inventory analyst

Dan Buckler
Urban forest assessment specialist

Urban Forestry Assessment (WisUFA) ProgramProgram structure

The primary purpose of the Wisconsin Urban Forest Assessment Program (WisUFA) is to collect and report on the condition of Wisconsin's urban forests in a statistically sound manner on an annual and periodic basis. The information will be used to track the status and trends in urban forest canopy, extent, diversity, growth, mortality, habitat and overall health. These data will also be used to identify and track the environmental, economic and social benefits and services provided. WisUFA will deliver unbiased, reliable information at multiple scales with the ability to incorporate regional and statewide trends. The assessment will also assist in the planning, management and monitoring of Wisconsin's urban forest resource.

Focus on the canopy

Traditionally, the focus of urban forestry programs has been aimed at managing public street and park trees. As we continue to learn about the social, health, environmental, aesthetic and monetary benefits of urban trees, it is essential to think at the canopy level which includes both public and private trees. The WisUFA program will be assessing and monitoring the urban forest across ownerships.

Inventory and assessment goals:

  • provide information on the amount, composition, condition and health of the forest canopy and track changes over time;
  • effectively integrate data, methods and tools in the planning, prioritizing and decision making processes;
  • develop and maintain data input, models and methods for urban forestry analysis and planning; and
  • develop up-to-date and easy-to-use information products and services for land managers, industry and public use.

Data components

No one tool is sufficient to measure all the variables needed to meet the preliminary goals of WisUFA. Three components have been identified to help gather the data necessary to meet those goals. They include:

  • a plot-based continuous inventory through the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (UFIA);
  • an urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment derived from remotely sensed data; and
  • a Wisconsin Community Tree Map (CTM) including inventories from municipalities, communities and non-profit organizations throughout the state.


Trees provide benefits and services regardless of where they occur. All trees sequester carbon, provide habitat, filter water, stabilize soils, provide biomass, enhance biodiversity and create jobs. Some trees also conserve energy and improve human health and safety. By sampling the characteristics of urban trees, these services can be quantified, valued and their management consequences evaluated. Elected officials, planners, land managers and private property owners can use this information to help maximize the benefits of their trees and accomplish their goals for their communities and properties.

Last revised: Tuesday February 13 2018