The wild lands of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountain Ranges were designated a National Forest more than a hundred years ago.
The Forest Reserve Act was passed in 1891, giving the president authority to "set apart and reserve, in any state or territory having public land bearing forests . . ..as public reservations." From this act was born the San Bernardino Forest Reserve, which became the San Bernardino National Forest in 1907. The San Bernardino National Forest as public land was set aside for the conservation of natural resources such as trees, water, minerals, livestock range, recreation, or wildlife.
Today, the San Bernardino National Forest serves as southern California's outdoor year-around recreation destination, as well as providing valuable watershed protection. Drive the scenic Rim of the World Scenic Byway and Palms to Pines Scenic Byways to discover your local National Forest.
The San Bernardino National Forest is comprised of three Ranger Districts spanning 679,380 acres in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Read more
The first known bald eagle to successfully hatch in the San Bernardino Mountains appeared in a nest near Fawnskin on Big Bear Lake in February 2012. That chick was named Jack after one of our most dedicated bald eagle count volunteers. It turned out that our chick was actually a girl and she has remained in the area since 2012.
The national forests in California cover some 20 million acres, or about 1/5 of the state. That is equal to an area just slightly larger than the state of South Carolina . Stretching from the Mexican border to Oregon , these forests include a variety of terrain and vegetation types. These areas of great beauty and majestic stature are plagued by divesting problems, such as natural and man-caused fire, pests and disease. These cause vast depletion and destruction of the national forests in California .
It takes thousands of firefighters and hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment working long hours to control these blazing infernos. Fires like these leave total destruction in their wake.
In time some land may recover naturally. Penny Pines provides a helping hand. It is a conservation program in which everyone can participate.