Nature's Benefits

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Do you know the value of chaparral? Most of us don't realize that these often overlooked lands provide essential benefits, or ecosystem services, worth billions of dollars, and the four southernmost forests in California actually contain more chaparral shrubland than forest. This animation describes the benefits and values of these important and valuable public lands.

Which Nature’s Benefits Come from the Angeles National Forest?

Water:

water iconIn drought-prone California, the quantity, quality, and timely provision of our water are dependent on the health of our national forests. The forests supply, filter, and regulate water from upper watersheds and meadows, providing clean water throughout the year to communities, homes, and wildland habitats. Water also helps support jobs and industries that are water-dependent.

  • About 384,000 acre-feet of water per year come from the Angeles National Forest
  • Or over 125 billion gallons per year

That equates to:

  • Over 180,000 Olympic-size swimming pools
  • Enough drinking water for California’s population for more than 10 years, or
  • Enough water for over 940,000 households for a year

How much are 125 billion gallons worth?

  • Estimated wholesale market value: over $36 million
  • To Los Angeles households: over $4.122 billion
Project symbol for Nature's Beauty.

Forest ecosystems are human, plant, and animal life-support systems that provide a suite of goods and services vital to human health and livelihood—essentially Nature's Benefits, also called Ecosystem Services.

The Region's goal is to communicate Nature's Benefits in the context of modern-day living and connect California National Forest land management activities to benefits that the public, sees, feels, and hears.

Recreation:

Recreation IconThe largest source of jobs supported by the Angeles National Forest is Forest Service-led jobs which provide an important contribution to local economies and enhance social connections and community cohesion.

  • Over 3.6 million people visit the Angeles National Forest to recreate annually, which represents an economic value of over $292 million to them
  • Visitors to the Angeles National Forest spend about $83.9 million during their trips.
  • Visitors to the Angeles National Forest contribute more than $27.4 million towards wages and income of local small businesses.
  • The Angeles National Forest landscape includes diverse recreation opportunities such as water recreation (fishing, swimming, and rafting) as well as camping, picnicking, and green open space for activities that support human wellness and cultural traditions.
  • 126 lakes and ponds
  • 508 Miles of rivers and streams 
  • 541 Miles of Trails
  • 121,482 acres of wilderness 
  • 6 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • 49 developed campgrounds
  • 39 developed picnic areas
  • Over 1.6 million people visit the Angeles National Forest annually to hike and walk as their main activity, which represents an economic value of over $144 million to those visitors. 
  • Over 340,000 people visit the Angeles National Forest annually to downhill ski as their main activity, which represents an economic value of over $28 million to those visitors.
  • Over 200,000 people visit the Angeles National Forest annually to fish as their main activity, which represents an economic value of over $16 million to those visitors.

Habitat:

Habitat IconForest Habitats and Biodiversity are key to ecological function; a forest’s daily function, in turn, allows all of Nature’s Benefits, from water to recreation, to continue to be provided for humans to enjoy. The Angeles National Forest hosts a multitude of key habitats for animals and plants.

  • 12 Threatened and Endangered Species that include: Santa Ana sucker, California unarmored 3-spine stickleback, California red-legged frog, mountain yellow-legged frog, desert tortoise, Nevin's barberry.

Energy

Power Outlet IconThe Angeles National Forest energy infrastructure provides power generation for public benefit and includes

  • Installed hydro plant capacity of approximately 1,637 megawatts, which could meet the power needs of more than 1.2 million households
  • Estimated annual solar electricity output is 37,980-kilowatt hours, enabling greater use of federal taxpayer funds to go towards forest restoration

Carbon

Carbon-Icon The National Forests of California play an important role in parts of the climate cycle; acting as carbon storage and sequestration units. Forests retain carbon from being emitted to and absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from, the atmosphere, which helps reduce the impacts of a warming climate to human, plant and animal habitats.

The Angeles National Forest stores about 6.3 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of forest Carbon

6.3 MMT C equates to:

  • Over 23.34 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of CO2 equivalent, or
  • Equivalent emissions of driving around the Earth more than 2.2 million times
  • Shrublands on the Angeles National Forest, like chaparral, store about an additional 2.2 MMT of carbon.

Local Economies

Store Front IconThe economy of California is fifth largest in the world, and California’s National Forests contribute almost $2 billion annually in wages and income to small businesses, a critical component of the rural economy of the state.

The Angeles National Forest supports:

  • About $83.2 million annually in labor income for wage earners and local businesses
  • Including food and lodging services, arts, entertainment and recreation, real estate, rental and leasing, and retail trade services.
  • About 1,600 jobs annually

Nature’s Benefits from Your National Forests

Forest ecosystems are human, plant, and animal life-support systems that provide a suite of goods and services vital to human health and livelihood—essentially Nature’s Benefits, also called Ecosystem Services. Benefits from healthy forest ecosystems include water supply and filtration; carbon sequestration; jobs, commerce, and value to local economies; recreational opportunities and open space for communities; increased physical and psychological wellness; cultural heritage; wood and other non-timber forest products; energy; clean air; pollination; and flood control.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/angeles/about-forest/?cid=fseprd604146