News Release

USDA Forest Service Kicks Off 100th Anniversary With Centennial Congress in Nation's Capitol

Event intended to foster a new collective commitment to conservation in the 21st Century

January 3, 2005 -

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service today launched its 100th year of service caring for the nation’s forests and grasslands with a historic Centennial Congress. More than 500 delegates are expected to attend the four-day summit, which aims to initiate a national dialogue on the critical challenges facing America’s forests.

The Congress commemorates the landmark 1905 American Forest Congress, which led to the creation of the agency. Like that 1905 meeting, the Centennial Congress convenes congressional leaders, state and local government representatives, key governors, industry and conservation organizations, leading academicians, and a host of other stakeholders to examine where the agency has been and where it’s going in its new century of service.

“The 1905 American Forest Congress initiated a century of change in managing public forests and grasslands by introducing a new conservation ethic and a workforce to carry it out,” said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. “My hope is that the Centennial Congress can help provide a foundation for similar contributions by the agency and foster a collective commitment to conservation in our next 100 years.”

In addition to a thorough assessment of challenges and opportunities on forests and rangelands, delegates will also examine how the 21st Century Forest Service can meet the needs of present and future generations.

The highlights of this week’s Congress include:

  • Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman’s keynote address on behalf of the Administration (Tues., Jan. 4, 8:40 a.m.);
  • Living Forest Service Chiefs’ debate and dialogue on forest management (Tues., Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m.);
  • Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton address about the century of cooperation between the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service (Tues., Jan. 4, 1:15 p.m.);
  • Premiere of a high-definition, feature-length documentary of the Forest Service’s 100 years, “The Greatest Good” (Tues., Jan. 4, 3:15 p.m.);
  • Congressional leaders’ policy discussion on past and future legislative measures on the stewardship of the nation’s forests (Wed., Jan. 5, 8 a.m.); and
  • Former Administration officials’ reflections and predictions on the Forest Service (Thursday, Jan. 6, 8 a.m.).

For more information on the Forest Service’s Centennial, visit or