Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

About Research and Development

About Research and Development

Forest Service Research and Development (R&D) works at the forefront of science to improve the health and use of our Nation's forests and grasslands. Research has been part of the Forest Service mission since its inception in 1905. Forest Service research enhances the rigor and impact of the entire Agency.

Our work directly informs management actions taken by the Forest Service, States, Tribes, and other land managers to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands. R&D conducts this work at five geographically based research stations, the Forest Products Laboratory, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, 81 Experimental Forest and Ranges, Urban Field Stations, and in our Washington D.C. headquarters.

Developing and delivering user-friendly scientific products is part of the Forest Service’s responsibility to care for the land and serve people. We are committed to improving the public’s ability to search, retrieve, and analyze both scientific publications and research data. Our research leverages Federal investments and provides new opportunities for scientific advancement and economic growth by scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, students, and the general public. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, R&D produces a wide variety of products – including datasets, tools, web-based content and digital media – in an effort to make our science available and accessible to natural resource managers, policymakers, and the public.

We interact with national forests in nine regions and with the agency's State and Private Deputy Area throughout the U.S. R&D is also allied with agencies in the USDA Research, Education, and Economics mission area, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and ARS' National Agricultural Library. R&D also partners with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the private sector