Welcome to the Northern Region! 

Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Bob Marshall Wilderness Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Frank Church Wilderness Gospel-Hump Wilderness Lee Metcalf Wilderness Great Bear Wilderness Mission Mountains Wilderness Rattlesnake Wilderness Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Scapegoat Wilderness Gates of the Mountain Wilderness Cabinet Mountains Wilderness


Visit the Northern Region

Photo of Faye Krueger, Regional Forester for Northern Region.

The U.S. Forest Service Northern Region encompasses 25 million acres and is spread over 5 states. Included are 12 National Forests located within the perimeter of northeastern Washington, northern Idaho, and Montana; and the National Grasslands in North Dakota and northwestern South Dakota.

As a place for individuals and families to enjoy the outdoors, the Northern Region's public lands offer hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, skiing, kayaking, and countless other adventures. These very special areas protected from development offer the ability to escape the crowds of the city and encounter nature at its best - to experience the solitude and challenges of wildlands.

We invite you to explore the Northern Region's 15 congressionally designated wilderness areas, five National Wild and Scenic Rivers, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Nez Perce National Historic Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail, the 2,539 miles of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and much more.


50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Logo for the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

This year is the golden anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed on Sept. 3, 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson. The act established the country’s National Wilderness Preservation System. So, on Sept. 3, 2014, lovers of wildlands will celebrate the landmark event that made history.

Today, America boasts 758 wilderness areas covering almost 110 million acres. The Forest Service alone manages 440 wilderness areas. They make up a third of the entire National Forest System.

Why Watersheds?

Photo of a forest stream.

Most all of the work we perform on national forest system lands is based around watersheds and waterways. So why aren’t we the US Water Service? While the agency was established as the Forest Service in 1905, the stage for the water-based focus stems from the 1897 Organic Act. This Act clearly identifies the objective of forest management: "to improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States." Read More about “Why Watersheds?”

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Wilderness Writings Challenge

Wilderness writing with paper and quill

The US Forest Service’s Northern Region encourages all students to submit their personal reflections about Wilderness

Whitebark Pine: Restoring a Species in Peril

Learn about the importance of whitebark pine in the region, the factors contributing to its decline, and the focus on protection and restoration of the species.


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