U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service

Our Mission

To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

What We Do

Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is the largest natural resource research organization in the world.USFS manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, shares responsibility with State and local agents for the stewardship of about 500 million acres of non-Federal rural and urban forests, and works with partners worldwide to protect global forest resources.

The Forest Service manages national forests for multiple uses and benefits, and for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wildlife, wood, and recreation. Multiple use means managing resources under the best combination of uses to benefit the American people while ensuring the productivity of the land and protecting the quality of the environment.

To fulfill its mission and manage the national forests, the Forest Service is organized into nine geographical regions with a national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Seven research stations, including the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products Laboratory, provide the latest science for sound stewardship decisions. Primary activities to forward the agency’s mission include:

  • Protection and management of natural resources on National Forest System lands
  • Research on all aspects of forestry, rangeland management, and forest resource utilization
  • Community assistance and cooperation with State and local governments, forest industries, and private landowners to help protect and manage non-Federal forest and associated range and watershed lands to improve conditions in rural areas
  • Achieving and supporting an effective workforce that reflects the full range of diversity of the American people
  • International assistance in formulating policy and coordinating U.S. support for the protection and sound management of the world's forest resources
The Forest Service also provides funding and technical assistance to fulfill its role on non-Federal forest lands. In addition, the Forest Service provides international assistance in land stewardship and has its own Law Enforcement and Investigations unit responsible for enforcement of Federal laws and regulations governing national forest lands and resources.

USFS Programs and Initiatives

  • Forest Legacy Program

    Created by Congress in 1990, the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program supports states' efforts to protect environmentally sensitive, privately owned forestland from conversion to non-forest uses.

    Read More

  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forestry Program

    Chesapeake forests, both rural and urban, are crucial to maintaining the water quality of the Bay and its tributaries.

    Read More

Forest Legacy Program Videos

Wao Kele O Puna, HI

Six Feathers Ranch, UT

Sugar Hills, MN

Moose Mountain Reservation, NH

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