About the Agency

Our Mission

A graphic that shows several Forest Service employees in the office, another outside near a tree and another employee inspecting seedlings.

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

At the heart of our agency’s mission is our purpose—the ultimate answer to why we do what we do. Everything we do—across our broad and diverse agency—is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because our stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives our agency’s mission and motivates our work across the agency. It’s been there from our agency’s very beginning, and it still drives us. 

To advance our mission and serve our purpose, we balance the short and long-term needs of people and nature by—

  • Working in collaboration with communities and our partners;
  • Providing access to resources and experiences that promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; and
  • Connecting people to the land and one another.
  • Delivering world-class science, technology and land management.

This is our value: what the Forest Service uniquely has to offer. 

Our Values

Our agency’s values reflect the proud heritage of the Forest Service, expressed in the language of today’s workforce. 

As employees of the Forest Service, we believe in—

  • Service. To each other. To the American people. To the planet.
  • Interdependence. Of all things. People and nature. Communities and colleagues. The past, present, and future. 
  • Conservation. Protection when necessary. Preservation when appropriate. Restoration, when needed, and wise management for multiple use and enjoyment always.
  • Diversity.  People and cultures. Perspectives and ideas. Experiences and ecosystems.
  • Safety. In every way: physical, psychological, and social.


This Is Who We Are

Learn more about the Forest Service and Who We Are by reading our This Is Who We Are booklet (PDF) or by watching a short video.


Faces of the Forest

Our employees are some of the most interesting and dedicated people. Through Faces of the Forest you learn about our people, places and professions.

  • We have employees who were recruited by the National Football League, earned a Purple Heart, or learned to love the land growing up as a Navajo.