From bald eagles, gray wolves, and common loons thriving in the northern forest of Minnesota to bats and cave crayfish living in over 10,000 caves in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and West Virginia, the Eastern Region is known for its spectacular array of plants and animals. Black bear, deer, peregrine falcons, lake sturgeon, walleye, orchids, and over 4,000 other kinds of plants and animals make their homes here.
Maintaining diverse, healthy, and resilient forests in the Eastern Region provides important habitat for plants and animals, purifies drinking water for millions, and filters the air that we breathe. The region’s lakes, rivers, and streams are part of a network that hosts a large variety of fish and other aquatic life and provides opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and much more.
The continued survival of wildlife, especially those that are threatened or endangered are of the utmost importance. We strive to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy the experience of seeing and discovering all of our native plants and animals.
From the boreal forests in the Lake States, to southern hardwood forests and the high alpine ridges of New England, the Eastern Region hosts diverse plant communities. Botanists and Plant Ecologists on each of the National Forests in the Eastern Region provide input for land management decisions aimed to conserve biodiversity on national forests.
The 12 million acre Eastern Region National Forest system provides critical habitat for a significant portion of the wildlife within the eastern United States. With half the US population within a day's drive of one or more Eastern Region national forests wildlife resources are more heavily used than ever before.
More than 962,000 acres of lakes, 43 percent of the NFS total, and over 15,000 miles of streams - 64 percent of which are trout waters, are found in Eastern Region National Forests. About 43 percent of the nation's anglers live in the 20 state Region.
Scott Stoleson, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station in Irvine, PA, is conducting research on the habitat preferences of migratory birds that are found in the depths of forests.