About the Forest

Mt. Stuart

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest encompasses more than 3.8-million acres in Washington state and stretches north to south from the Canadian border to the Goat Rocks Wilderness - a distance of about 180 miles. The forest lies east of the Cascade Crest, which defines its western boundary. The eastern edge of the forest extends into the Okanogan highlands west of the Okanogan River, then south along the Columbia River, and then to the Yakima River valley. Because of this wide geographic range, the forest is very diverse - from the high, glaciated alpine peaks along the Cascade Crest and the numerous mountain ranges extending eastward from the crest, through deep, lush valleys of old growth forest, to the dry and rugged shrub-steppe country at its eastern edge. Elevations range from below 1,000 ft. to over 9,000 ft. Precipitation varies widely - from more than 70-inches along the crest to less than 10-inches at its eastern edge. This of course greatly affects the forest and vegetation types across the area.

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is most noted for a wide range of recreation opportunities. There truly is "something for everyone" who likes to have fun in the outdoors.

Liberty Bell Mtn from Hwy 20Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest resources provide significant public benefits in water, forage, wildlife, habitat, wood, recreation, and minerals. While these resources are managed under the multiple use concept to provide the public with a wide variety of benefits, an important emphasis of that management is to maintain and enhance sustainable ecosystems for future generations.

For additional Ranger District specific information on forest resources and their management, current projects, specific locations of interest, recreation opportunities, and more, please check out the Recreational Activities, Newsroom, and Projects and Plans sections.


A brief history of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest... more

Organizational Overview

The Forest Service is a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We care for the nation's forest and rangelands. We are leaders in the conservation and wise use of the National Forest System lands. We serve the needs of the people who own them and, by doing so, we strengthen the Nation's lands for future generations.

To accomplish this mission, we are organized into several areas, among them: the National Forest System, Research, and State and Private Forestry. We have organized into subject and resource groups which include, land management planning, fire, wilderness, range, wildlife and fish, recreation and minerals to name a few.

We also assist State and local governments, forest industry and other private owners to manage, use and protect the forest and forest products.

We operate the world's largest forest research system. We have several forest product laboratories and experiment stations throughout the nation. Through International Forestry, we exchange information with foreign counties for technology transfer.

Please see the Programs and Projects page for more detailed information about the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest programs.

Need more details?

The Forest Service is a "decentralized agency." Most decisions about our everyday work are made at places outside our central office. Our "headquarters," is located in Washington, DC.

The Washington Office supports the Chief of the Forest Service and assists the field offices. The Chief has an Associate Chief and five Deputy Chiefs.

The Chief is assisted by our Office of Communication Public Affairs Office (PAO) which employs experts in public information and public involvement in Forest Service work.

The second level of our organization is the Regional level, made up of nine regions, each led by a Regional Forester. The Okanogan National Forest is in Region 6, the Pacific Northwest Region, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Linda Goodman is our Regional Forester.

The third level includes the individual National Forests and their Supervisor's Offices. The Forest Supervisor of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests has an office in Wenatchee.

The fourth level involves Ranger Districts of the various Forests. The Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests are divided into seven geographic administrative units called Ranger Districts. The Ranger Districts on our Forests include: Cle Elum, Entiat, Chelan, Wenatchee River, Methow Valley, Naches, and Tonasket. The District Ranger and his or her staff are responsible for the management, protection, and use of the resources on these lands to benefit the American people.