The rapid forest assessment (RFA) approach is a collaborative natural resource management strategy to monitor forests by engaging stakeholders and citizen scientists in data collection. The RFA approach was designed to simplify the process of forest monitoring, allowing for wider geographic and temporal data collection while reducing the resources required for adaptive land management projects. RFA programs also educate stakeholders and citizens on issues related to forest management and restoration.

Aim of the resource: 
The RFA approach aims to reduce the capacity and cost required for forest monitoring by training volunteers to collect data on vegetation structure and diversity in a relatively quick and efficient manner. This data can then be used to inform land management strategies or serve as a teaching tool for the program.
Using the resource
Potential benefits from using the resource: 
Provides opportunities for increased data collection at reduced costs in forests of interest
Involvement of stakeholders can enhance trust in land management practices or science and promote learning and interest in natural resource management
Potential limitations from using the resource: 
Data collected by RFA volunteers may be more coarse than that collected by experts
Volunteer-collected data may be unreliable if the individuals are not properly trained or choose not to follow standard protocol
Scope
Sub/region where used: 
North America
Scale of application: 
Subnational
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available: 
Development stage: 
Full, working product
Contact details
Contact Name (Person or group/organization): 
United States Geological Survey
Resources
Do you want to add more details?: 
Yes