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About the Agency

Established in 1905, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a Federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands, as well as other congressionally designated areas. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies.

The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the mission of the Forest Service— "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."

By the numbers, we manage:

  • 154 national forests and 20 grasslands encompassing 193 million acres of land
  • 439 wilderness areas totaling over 36 million acres of land. These wilderness areas range in size from 372 acres in the Allegheny Islands Wilderness in Pennsylvania to 2,356,934 acres in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which spans five national forests in Idaho
  • 20 national recreation areas
  • 6 national scenic areas
  • 6 national monument areas
  • 2 national volcanic monument areas
  • 2 national historic areas

Contact us

  • Have a comment? Send an email
  • Locate an employee or an office
  • Find a number, address and website for all of our field offices

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Budget and performance

  • Where does the agency spend its money?
  • How are we performing?
  • How do we track our performance and spending?
  • What is Congress asking?

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  • Find press materials
  • Follow us through social media
  • Forest Service by the numbers

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Regulations and policies

  • Agency guidelines help direct our work
  • Even Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are protected by law

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Faces of the Forest

  • Meet our people, places and professions
  • Know someone in the Forest Service you want others to meet?

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