During President Theodore Roosevelt's two terms in office, he set aside millions of acres of forest reserves. Roosevelt proclaimed sixteen million acres of new reserves, sometimes referred to as midnight reserves, before signing an appropriations bill from Congress that would prohibit the President from creating any new forest preserves in those states. The Colville Forest Reserve, created on 1 March, 1907, was thus created.
The Forest boundary, a part of the Pacific Northwest Region (Region 6), included 700,000 acres of lands north of the Colville Indian Reservation to the Canadian Border, and was bounded east and west by the Columbia and Okanogan rivers, respectively. The first headquarters office was on Main Street in Republic, WA with W.W. Cryder as the Forest Supervisor.
Presently, the Colville National Forest has 1.5 million acres in north eastern Washington and includes the Kettle River, Selkirk mountain ranges, and the upper reaches of the Columbia River. The forest has four ranger stations and a supervisor's office that govern the forest's five districts: Three Rivers Ranger Station in Kettle Falls, Republic Ranger Station in Republic, Tonasket Ranger Station in Tonasket, Newport-Sullivan Lake's Station in Newport, and Newport-Sullivan Lake's Station in Metaline Falls.
The greater populated areas close to the Colville National Forest and within the US perimeter are Ferry, Stevens, Okanogan and Pend Oreille Counties, the Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation.
Residents and visitors enjoy the Colville National Forest's wild huckleberries, camping, hiking trails (486 miles), OHV trails, mountain biking, horse trails, lakes, rivers, and streams. The forest also boasts exciting wildlife such as the grizzly and black bears, cougars, bald eagles and the last remaining herd of caribou in the U.S.
Nearby attractions also include Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge and the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.