"Caring for the Land and Serving People"
The Forest Service manages the National Forests and Grasslands for sustainable multiple-uses to meet the diverse needs of people, ensure the health of our natural resources, provide recreational opportunities, manage wildfire, guard against invasive threats, and work with State and private forest landowners, cities and communities, and international cooperation.
Forests and Grasslands
We manage public lands for multiple uses, including:
- Minerals and Geology
- Wildlife and Fish
Ensuring a viable ecosystem means ensuring our natural resources have a good, healthy basis:
- Water is the most important commodity on agency lands
- Air, like water, is inseparable from the health of natural resources.
- Soil serves many purposes in the health of natural resources.
There are more than 158,000 miles of trails to hike, bike, ATV, ride horseback, snowmobile, snowshoe, and more on the national forests and grasslands.
Wild and Scenic Rivers
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects more than 12,700 miles of rivers and streams in the U.S. The Forest Service is involved in managing nearly 5,000 of those wild and scenic rivers miles.
Millions of acres of public lands are unaffected by growth so you can use and enjoy them as wilderness.
- What makes a wilderness area?
- Does designation always equal protection?
- Where are the wilderness areas?
Managing wildfires on public lands is both a proactive and reactive challenge.
- Fire is managed in several ways, including deliberately burning dead trees.
- Forests benefit from selective burning.
- Education is the most important tool for wildfire prevention.
Invasive species are non-native (exotic/alien) to the ecosystem that they occupy and their existence in that ecosystem causes or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment, or human health. If left unchecked, invasive species can threaten native species, biodiversity, ecosystem services, recreation, water resources, agricultural and forest production, cultural resources, economies and property values, public safety, and infrastructure.
Your land is important to you, and we have information that can help you:
- Prepare for wildfires
- Make your land work for you
- Develop your own forest plan
You can measure the benefits your city derives from healthy trees using Forest Service tools.
- Use iTree to see what your trees are worth.
- Find your state urban and community forestry coordinators.
- Get involved in urban natural resources stewardship.
- Many of America’s beloved backyard birds are migratory –spending time in countries where habitats are threatened. We work to conserve their habitats both here and abroad.
- By combating illegal logging overseas, we help to level the playing field in international trade and benefit the U.S. forest products industry.
- Each year, invasive forest pests inflict more than $2 billion in damages to U.S. forest resources. International cooperation is the most effective way to control existing pests and prevent further introductions.