Oklahoma Forestry Service members are making sure they can see the forest for the trees.
For the next few weeks they will be collecting data on plots of land in Comanche, Cotton, Tillman, Kiowa, Jackson, Beckham, Carter, Custer, Greer and Harmon counties.
The survey will be started in Tillman County today and Friday, said Carri Abner, program coordinator for Oklahoma Forest Inventory and Analysis.
This is the first time the department will collect data and document land use in western Oklahoma counties, she said.
The program originally began with the U.S. Forest Service, and data has been collected in Oklahoma's eastern counties since the 1930s.
Some of the questions being answered by the extended survey will be what type of trees are growing and whether they are healthy.
Foresters have gathered information about the amount of land under forest cover, the type of forests and tree species that are present, tree size, invasive species and forest health issues.
"Healthy forests and woodlands provide Oklahoma with many valuable goods and services," said State Forester George Geissler. "We are collecting information about our forests in all 77 counties which will improve our planning and management strategies and ensure our citizens receive the greatest benefit possible."