Resource Management

Inside Fanny BayThe Osceola National Forest contains over 226,866 acres of the original Florida. It is yours to explore. The forested woodlands and swamps provide many opportunities for a wide range of visitor experiences.  Cypress, black gum, bay and pine trees stand tall to greet you as you enter the Osceola's marshy terrain.

The forest was named in honor of the famous Seminole Indian leader Osceola.  The relatively wetter Pinhook Swamp that joins the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia dominates the northern portion of the Osceola.  These swamp ecosystems can be described as wetlands with trees and are extremely important water recharge areas.  Half of the water located on the Osceola eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean while the other half drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

As stewards of this fascinating ecosystem, the Forest Service has developed a plan to be the guide for the overall management of the National Forests in Florida for the next decade. This Forest Plan is not a list of projects; but a framework for future decision making. In an expanded narrative, the Forest Service has identified many aspects of its mission, among those are:

  • Advocating a conservative ethic in promoting the health, productivity, diversity, and beauty of forest and associated lands.
  • Protecting and managing the national forests and grasslands so they best demonstrate the sustainable multiple-use management concept.
  • Developing and providing scientific and technical knowledge aimed at improving our capability to protect, manage, and use forests and rangelands.

The Forest Plan represents an adaptive approach to national forest management. The public is a part of our decision making process with professional decisions made from the best scientific information available. Monitoring forest projects is necessary and is being done on a continued basis.


Prescribed Fire

Employee accomplishing a prescribed burn

One of the greatest influences on the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem in the Osceola National Forest is fire.  In the Osceola, controlled or prescribed burns often mimic natural fires.  You may see Forest Service employees conducting these burns which are necessary to maintain this important ecosystem

Timber and Silviculture

In the Organic Act of 1897, Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, and National Forest Management Act of 1976, Congress directed that one of the purposes of national forests should be managing the ecosystem

View All Features


Watershed Protection

Hog Pen Landing

National Forests were created for several purposes. One was to help protect watersheds and provide clean water.

Wilderness Areas

Big Gum Wilderness

"A hereby recognized as an area where earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain"


Heritage Management


Heritage Resource Management (HRM) is one of the newer disciplines in the US Forest Service. It is incorporated into all management decisions involving land-disturbing activities.