Photo Contest Winners!

What if the top prize for the 2020 National Park Foundation Photo Contest was taken on a National Forest?  Do you need more proof that National Forests are the best public lands?  Third prize not only went to a photo taken on a  National Forest - it was taken on Region 3's very own Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. 

Resolution Copper Timeline

Due to an increase in inquiries regarding Resolution Copper and Oak Flat, we have a summary page with links to all the information for easier access. View the up-to-date statement and project links.

Great American Outdoors Act in the Southwest

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) enables federal land managers to take aggressive steps to address deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects on national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service will use these funds to maximize the benefits experienced by millions of Americans who visit and use their national forests and rangelands. Projects funded by this act will focus on reducing deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects and thereby improve the conditions and resiliency of our nation’s forests for present and future generations.

Protecting Public Health and Safety

To protect public health and safety, the health and safety of our employees and volunteers and to align with local and state health and safety orders, the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service has orders limiting limiting group sizes.  These restrictions reflect federal and state guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19.   Recreation site closures are managed by each forest.  


AskUSDA is central entry point for you to access information and help from USDA agencies including the Forest Service.

Recently Reopened Recreation Opportunities

The Southwestern Region continues to implement a state by state strategy for phased re-openings based on risk assessments and available cleaning supplies. The vast majority of the National Forests acres remain open for dispersed camping and use. Changes occur weekly across the region, generally taking effect each Friday. This is a compilation of sites closed due to the Covid epidemic that have recently reopened or are planned to do so in the next few days. Note that many sites are being closed as they are in the path of wildfires.

For the health and safety of our visitors and employees and to prevent accidental wildfires, a campfire ban remains in effect for the Region and a recreational shooting closure remains in effect on the Prescott, Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona. Additional Stage II fire restrictions are in place are in place on the Tonto and Coronado National Forests in Arizona and the Carson, Santa Fe and Cibola National Forests in New Mexico.

Regional Closure and Motor Vehicle Orders

  • Fireworks, Explosives and Spark Prohibition
  • Regional Motor Vehicle Code

Four Forest Restoration Initiative

The Forest Service has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) that analyzes almost a million acres on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests and proposes forest restoration treatments over a 10-year period.  The DEIS and associated documents are available on the 4FRI website.  For additional information, please send your request to 4fri_comments@fs.fed.us or call the 4FRI Team at 928-226-4684.

Every Kid Outdoors

Every Kid in the Park logoEvery Kid Outdoors is a nationwide program that encourages 4th graders to get outside and visit their federal public lands and waters by offering a free pass their entire 4th grade year.

Restoration Concepts for Frequent Fire Forests

Videos Bring The GTR-310 to Life

Six short videos focused on restoration concepts for Southwestern frequent-fire forests were released by the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region, Rocky Mountain Research Station, and Northern Arizona University.

Proposed Recreation Fees and Comment Information

We are accepting comments on proposed changes to the management of the developed recreation program. These changes will impact campgrounds and day-use sites on the Carson, Gila, Lincoln, and Santa Fe National Forests, and the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. Comment period ends September 30, 2021.

Kids Exploring Nature in Albuquerque’s Oldest Neighborhood

The Children’s Garden is an outdoor space that offers interactive elements such as musical instruments, garden areas and natural materials for building and creating art. The Nature Explore Children’s Garden gives more opportunity to children who live in urban areas to regularly interact with nature. 

Local Youth Help Bring Holiday Cheer to our Nation’s Capital

How do you produce 10,000 handmade Christmas ornaments and transport a 60-foot tree across the United States just in time for the holidays? That’s the question being posed to the folks at the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico this year, and they’ve responded with a resounding, “With a little help from our partners!”  

Celebrating Gifford Pinchot

Join us in celebrating the first Chief of the USDA Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot’s, birthday on August 11 by taking some time to enjoy a
forest or grassland near you

Celebrating 50 years of American Wilderness

In 2014, our nation celebrated "50 Years of Wilderness." On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. The act defines "Wilderness" as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain. A national website has been dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act signing, www.wilderness50th.org.


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