What We Do

Our Vision

The Law Enforcement and Investigations organization is an integral part of the Forest Service, recognized as leaders in public and employee safety, natural resource protection, and as a professional cooperator with other law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement organization is a diverse workforce committed to integrity, responsibility, and accountability.

Our Mission

To serve people, protect natural resources and property within the authority and jurisdiction of the Forest Service.

Our Objectives

  • Protect the public, employees, natural resources, and other property under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service,
  • Investigate and enforce applicable laws and regulations which affect the National Forest System, and
  • Prevent criminal violations through informing and educating visitors and users of applicable laws and regulations.


Uniformed Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) enforce Federal laws and regulations governing National Forest Lands and resources.  As part of that mission LEO's carry firearms, defensive equipment, make arrests, execute search warrants, complete reports and testify in court. They establish a regular and recurring presence on a vast amount of public lands, roads, and recreation sites.  The regulations Law Enforcement Officers enforce include 36 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 242 & 261.  Part 242 of 36 CFR refers specifically to subsistence hunting and fishing regulations and is only applicable to federal land in Alaska. Part 261 of 36 CFR refers to regulations that apply to all National Forest lands nationwide.  The primary focus of their jobs is the protection of natural resources, protection of Forest Service employees and the protection of visitors.  What follows is a list of the some of the different aspects of our job.


Special Agents are criminal investigators who plan and conduct investigations concerning possible violations of criminal and administrative provisions of the Forest Service and other statues under the United States Code. Special agents are normally plain clothes officers who carry concealed firearms, and other defensive equipment, make arrests, carry out complex criminal investigations, present cases for prosecution to U.S. Attorneys, and prepare investigative reports.

Some examples of criminal cases are:

  • Illegal outfitter and guiding
  • Theft of government property
  • Timber theft
  • Investigations of wild land fire origins
  • Manufacture & distribution of controlled substances
  • Assault of federal employees or volunteers
  • Criminal investigators occasionally conduct internal and civil claim investigations