About the Forest

About the Forest

The phrase "Caring for the Land and Serving People" captures the spirit of the mission of the USDA Forest Service.  The Forest Service draws passion and commitment to its mission from its land and service ethics. 

Our challenge on the Sawtooth NF is to manage the people's forest through our natural resource agenda with watershed health, ecosystem health -- the health of the land -- as the primary objective.

The Sawtooth NF long-term emphasis items are:

  • Develop and utilize coalitions and partnerships formed with Federal, State, local and private entities.
  • Develop the interpersonal skills of our people.
  • Do a quality job in all resource and management activities on the Forest.



The Sawtooth National Forest has 6 offices; the Forest Supervisor's Office in Jerome, and Ranger District offices in Burley, Fairfield, Ketchum, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area office north of Ketchum, and Stanley.



The Sawtooth National Forest was created on May 29, 1905, by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt.  It was then called "Sawtooth Forest Reserve" and contained 1,947,520 acres. More...

History at a glance``


Private Land Ownership in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

The 756,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area (Sawtooth NRA) includes more than 20,000 acres of privately owned land, primarily in the Sawtooth Valley and Stanley Basin, and along the Salmon River for approximately 25 miles downstream from Stanley, Idaho. The U.S. Congress established the Sawtooth NRA in 1972 with the passage of Public Law 92-400 which sought to preserve and protect the Area's "natural, scenic, historic, pastoral, and fish and wildlife values and to provide for the enhancement of the recreation values associated therewith." Congress' effort to protect the Sawtooth NRA was in part aimed at preventing the development of high-density subdivisions that were beginning to spread throughout the area and mar its scenic beauty. Significantly, Public Law 92-400 also directed the Secretary of Agriculture (the cabinet official with overall responsibility for the U.S. Forest Service) to acquire land and development rights for the purpose of preserving these values. Public Law 92-400 directed the Secretary to publish regulations setting standards for the use, subdivision, and development of all privately owned property within the boundaries of the Sawtooth NRA. These regulations were codified in the Code of Federal Regulations and are included in the publication What You Should Know About Private Land Ownership in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.