Description: The Potential Reforestation Index geospatial data product is a companion to the Forest Retention Index product from the Mapping the South’s Forests of the Future project. The Retention Index describes the likelihood that existing forests will remain in a forested condition at decadal time steps through 2060. The Potential Reforestation Index describes the likelihood that a non-forested land unit will be converted to forest cover at those same time steps. We used two datasets to determine areas currently occupied by agriculture that may be most conducive to reforestation efforts: National Commodity Crop Productivity Index (NCCPI) and Potentially Restorable Wetlands on Agriculture Land (PRWAg). The NCCPI is available from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of Gridded Soil Survey Geographic (gSSURGO) Database’s National Value Added Look Up (Valu1) Table (gSSURGO Version 2.2; NRCS 2016). We used NCCPI to identify marginal agriculture land, defined as an index value of less than 0.4 for the highest-valued crop category. PRWAg has four classes of wetland restoration potential: unsuitable, low, moderate, and high summarized by 12-digit HUC. We included low, moderate, and high classes in our analysis.
Copyright Text: Greene, Rachel E., Kristine O. Evans, Michael T. Gray, Todd Jones-Farrand, and William G. Wathen. May 1, 2018. Mapping the South's Forests of the Future.