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.
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.
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?”