National-Laws-3The Natural Resource Manager (NRM) is a system of database tools for managing Agency data across the Forest Service.

Natural Resource Manager includes: Forest Service ACtivity Tracking System (FACTS), Infrastructure (Infra), Natural Resource Information System (NRIS), and Timber Information Manager (TIM) applications. NRM applications provide tools for most of the agency’s natural resource business areas.

NRM provides information and support for a variety of database, data collection, and analysis products. Most of the NRM products are accessible only within the Forest Service’s computing environment.

These databases are important because the information within them is what the USFS uses to do their work and make their decisions. For example; the INFRA database can provide detailed information on local trails and the historical improvements made to them. The TESP/IS database can let us know that there is an endangered specied of plant in a certain area, which will help us plan a trail path to avoid this potential disturbance.


The Forest Service uses INFRA as an integrated data management tool to manage and report accurate information and associated financial data on the inventory of constructed features, such as buildings, dams, bridges, water systems, roads, trails, developed recreation sites, range improvements, administrative sites, heritage sites, general forest areas, and wilderness.

The majority of the roads, trails, and facilities data is obtained through the Forest Service INFRA corporate database system. INFRA data entry is at the field level; therefore, there are limitations or inconsistencies in the data’s accuracy. Currently, the only active process for data verification and validation is in condition surveys throughout the year. The facilities program began reviewing existing data for accuracy and will edit the data as needed. These surveys provide a look at the progress of the performance measures.

Although trail data is currently incomplete, the Forest Service expects the INFRA trails module, complemented by cost information and assessment and condition survey from the trails Assessment and Condition Survey to provide complete trail information by local, regional, and national levels, as well as by State and political divisions.

Aquatic Surveys (AqS)

Aquatic Surveys (AqS) supports ecological and physical stream variables for three hierarchical levels of the riverine system on National Forest System (NFS) lands: valley segments, stream reaches and channel units. Data collected about aquatic fauna communities (fish, invertebrates, macroinvertebrates, amphibians, reptiles) in streams, lakes and spring environments are supported.

Aquatic Surveys includes data, field notes and digital images about physical dimensions and conditions (e.g., wetted and bankfull dimensions, wood, substrate, bank condition, gradient), continuous water and air temperature monitoring, and the aquatic organisms occupying the waterbody being surveyed. The primary user-base for AqS includes biologists, hydrologists, and ecologists. The mapping and reporting tools deliver raw or summarized aquatic data to any user. Using Aquatic Surveys, information can be managed and consumed at all scales.

Field Sampled Vegetation (FSVeg)

Field Sampled Vegetation (FSVeg) stores data about trees, fuels, down woody material, surface cover, and understory vegetation. FSVeg supports the business of common stand exam, fuels data collection, permanent grid inventories, and other vegetation inventory collection processes.
See more FSVeg information, documentation, and software…
Field Sampled Vegetation Spatial (FSVeg Spatial)FSVeg Spatial manages spatial and tabular vegetation data in one place, at one time.

National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM)

National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) software manages information gathered from on-site surveys of recreation visitors to lands managed by the Forest Service. For information about NVUM’s statistical methodology, visit Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness Programs National Visitor Use Monitoring Program. Data collection is based on a stratified random sample methodology to develop sound estimates of visitor use, characteristics, satisfaction, and spending information for each national forest.

The NVUM Results software is now available to the public on the Internet. It delivers NVUM statistics at the national, regional and forest scales using 70 pre-defined reports and maps. Results from individual forests can be combined using the Results software to access multiple-forests, regional, and national estimates of the numbers and types of recreation visits. Reports are available for all years beginning with fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 to September 31, 2005).

Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring

Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring supports national protocols for vegetation and ground cover sampling, general site characterization and detailed soil pedon descriptions. The application supports site characterization, interpretations and classifications; it also accommodates casual point observations with basic attributes.

Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plants, and Invasive Species (TESP/IS)

TESP/IS support national data collection standards for combined TESP and invasive species surveys, TESP element-occurrences, and Invasive Species Inventories.

Watershed Improvement Tracking (WIT)

Watershed Improvement Tracking (WIT) manages data, observations and planning details about sites that need to be (or have been) restored or improved with the intent of benefiting watershed and aquatic ecosystem health and function. The application is a watershed restoration activity tracker that addresses site conditions, administrative plans and actions, and outcomes. The primary users of WIT are biologists and hydrologists; however, the reporting products deliver raw or summarized information valuable for project leaders, program managers, and public relations staff.

Watershed Classification and Assessment Tracking Tool (WCATT)

NRM developed the Watershed Classification and Assessment Tracking Tool (WCATT) application in support of the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) to provide a nationally consistent approach for classifying watershed condition. The tool supports the entering, editing and reporting of classification and assessment data for watersheds that contain U.S. Forest Service lands. WCATT provides a Geographic Information System (GIS) approach to data input for tracking Watershed Classification by 12-digit hydrologic units by year. The Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Directors area sponsor it.


Wildlife supports terrestrial animal observations and site inventories.

PLEASE NOTE: Much of the above has been directly copied from referenced sources publicly available on the internet. Subjective opinion and interpretation can be found in color-hilited text boxes.