Land & Resources Management

Portrait of Gifford Pinchot"Where conflicting interests must be reconciled, the question shall always be answered from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run." Read more...

Gifford Pinchot, Father of the Forest Service
Chief Forester 1905-1910


When the USDA Forest Service was created, there were about 760 million acres of forestland. Today, there are nearly 750 million acres of forestland. Sustaining the national forests during the last century while the country’s population grew by nearly 300 percent is a conservation success story.

The Forest Service celebrated its Centennial Anniversary on July 1, 2005. In the late 1890s Congress set aside selected forests and grasslands for the protection of watersheds for communities, and so that the land would be managed in perpetuity for multiple uses. In July 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt transferred the care of those forests and grasslands to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Forestry, later renamed the Forest Service.

Since its beginning 100 years ago, the mission of the Forest Service has been tied to the relationship that Americans have with the land. It’s a relationship founded on the premise that natural resources may be used wisely while sustaining them for generations to come. In all endeavors, today’s Forest Service remains grounded in the firm belief that the outcome must serve “the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.”


Intermountain Region Forest Plan Revision

Forest Plan Revision

The National Forest Management Act of 1976 requires forest plans to be revised at least every 15 years. Congress waived the 15 year requirement as long as the Department demonstrates progress with revision. Of the 17 plans in Region 4, eight have been revised, and nine are original. The Intermountain Region currently has two forests working on plan revisions and five that will begin before 2021. Learn more about Forest Plan Revision and how you can get involved.