Forest Service Research and Development (FS R&D) delivers research to Texas through the Southern
Research Station (SRS), which is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, and has field offices in College
Station and Nacogdoches, Texas. SRS has 12 employees in these Texas locations. Texas has more than 60
million acres of forested land, 12 million of which are comprised of commercial timberland in East Texas.
These counts make Texas one of the most heavily tree-covered states in the nation and the third highest
timber-producing state in the South. The Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest is located in Texas.
Texas Funding History
NACOGDOCHES -- SRS-4159 Southern Pine Ecology and
Management, SRS – 4156 Center for Forest Disturbance
Science, and SRS-4160 Forest Genetics and Ecosystems
FY 2013
Enacted ($)
FY 2014
Enacted ($)
FY 2015
Budget ($)
FY 2015 Program Changes
The President’s Budget includes a decrease of
$3,493,000 from the FY 2014 Enacted for SRS.
Funds will be used to address regional and
national priorities, such as invasive species
Important ongoing research, including work
addressing climate change, forest restoration,
and forest inventory and monitoring will continue.
SRS scientists evaluate longleaf pine ecosystem plant diversity.
Southern Research Station Overview
SRS serves 13 Southern States: Alabama, Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Staff is organized
into Research Work Units at locations throughout
the region. SRS employs over 103 scientists and
many more technicians and administrative
personnel covering a diversity of disciplines.
The FY 2015 President’s Budget for SRS is
$44,785,000, of which $14,629,000 is for annualized
Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA). In addition,
$2,282,000 is provided for National Fire Plan
research. SRS will also receive a competitive
share of the national amount of $6,914,000 for the
Joint Fire Science Program.
FY 2013 Key Accomplishments:
 Longleaf pine woodlands of the southeastern
U.S. are fire dependent ecosystems. Overstory
structure determines fuel distribution and fire
behavior, and influences development of a rich
understory plant community. By identifying the
mechanisms that drive patterns of plant
communities, SRS scientists are helping
managers develop restoration practices that
promote ecosystem diversity.
 As one of the most widely grown southern pines,
loblolly pine is ecologically and economically
important to industry in the South. SRS and the
Texas Forest Service evaluated genetic variation
in loblolly populations to evaluate genetic
factors affecting growth, productivity and
disease resistance. Genetic characterization
generated important information on the extent
of genetic diversity and inbreeding, and led to
identification of genes that may be involved in
important biological functions. This information
will contribute to development of genome
selection protocols and refinements in the
loblolly breeding program.
 Intensively managed forests are considered an
avenue for increasing carbon sequestration
and providing biomass material for a variety of
forest products.
SRS, North Carolina State
University, Virginia Tech, ArborGen and
MeadWestvaco investigated the interaction
between genetics and silviculture on forest
productivity and soil carbon in fast growing
clonal loblolly pine.
Results indicate that
proactive management of soil organic matter
significantly increase stand productivity and
increase soil carbon storage. This research
should help industry in refining loblolly
management, thereby reducing the costs.
 Using wood for energy raises issues for nearly
every aspect of forest management. SRS, North
Agricultural Institute, and Virginia Tech University
evaluated economic impacts of using wood for
energy. Results show that this technology could
have financial benefits for private landowners
and forest products industry. Sustainability of
wood for energy will depend upon the extent of
land acreage used and the amount of logging
residue left on site. Timber supply responses to
the potentially large and rapid expansion of the
wood bioenergy sector in the U.S. will be crucial
to ensuring sustainable forests.
in in
Forest Service R&D priority research areas build on
existing local and regional research to solve issues
important to the American people. Priority
research activities in Texas include:
Forest Disturbance: Managing forest ecosystems
to sustain desired benefits, such as clean water
and healthy forests, requires knowledge of how
forests change over time in response to natural
disturbances and management activities. There is
a need to understand how to help our forests
adapt to disturbance, including developing novel
species compositions, and restoring forest and
wetland function. SRS scientists will evaluate the
carbon footprint of prescribed burning and begin
to assess how wildland fire might be included in
carbon policy.
Watershed Management and Restoration: With a
growing population competing for a finite supply
of freshwater, sustaining healthy watersheds to
protect the nations’ water supply is critical to the
social and economic well-being of the U.S. SRS is
conducting long term studies to assist land
watersheds throughout the region.
Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA): The FIA
program provides current conditions and recent
trends in the area of public and private forest
land in the U.S. For the first time, a comparable
inventory covers the entire state, including central
and west Texas. In central and west Texas, data
to quantify forest fire fuel loads is being collected
to assist in determining forest fire risk.
Localized Needs Research in Texas
Focusing on critical regional and local research
issues, SRS provides research results and tools and
technologies including:
Restoring native prairie in Texas: Prairies are one
of the most endangered habitats in North
America. Numerous small isolated prairies exist on
the Sam Houston National Forest; however, most
are highly degraded due to alteration of the
historic fire regime. SRS scientists and land
managers are working together to restore these
habitats through an intensive program of
mechanical removal of encroaching woody
plants and an aggressive prescribed fire regime.
FOREST SERVICE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (FS R&D) is a world leader in innovative science for sustaining global forest resources for future
generations. Research findings and products benefit forest and rangeland managers, and everyone who uses goods or services from
forests. We operate five research stations that encompass all 50 states, the Forest Products Laboratory located in Madison, Wisconsin, and
the International Institute of Tropical Forestry located in Puerto Rico. Our researchers and support personnel are located at 67 field sites
throughout the United States. We also maintain 80 experimental forests and ranges across the Nation. Our unique ability to integrate
science and decision making and to work across boundaries between public, private, and tribal lands through strong partnerships
advances the Agency’s three core themes of restoration, communities, and fire.
The FS R&D program has two components: Priority Research Areas and Strategic Program Areas. The Priority Research Areas address
urgent needs in seven areas: Forest Disturbance, Forest Inventory and Analysis, Watershed Management and Restoration, Bioenergy and
Biobased Products, Urban Natural Resources Stewardship, Nanotechnology, and Localized Needs Research (region-specific needs). The
Strategic Program Areas (SPAs) are the long-term programs from which Priority Research Areas are funded. The seven SPAs are: Wildland
Fire and Fuels; Invasive Species; Recreation; Resource Management and Use; Water, Air, and Soil; Wildlife and Fish; and Inventory and
The FY 2015 President’s Budget includes $275,315,000 for Forest and Rangeland Research, $19,795,000 for the FS R&D National Fire Plan, and
$6,914,000 for the Joint Fire Science Program.