Regulations and Policies
A history of conservation
The Forest Service was born with the first conservation movement more than a century ago. Like nature, the agency continues to evolve and adapt. People are part of the ecosystem and have been so for thousands of years. The agency seeks to meet the diverse needs of many people, now and into the future.
Forest Service directives
The agency’s directives consists of the Forest Service Manual and Handbooks, which organizes the agency's policy, practice, and procedure. The system serves as the primary basis for the internal management and control of all programs and the primary source of administrative direction to employees.
- Directive system frequently asked questions
- Forest Service Manuals
- Forest Service Handbooks
- Search directives
Laws and regulations
A wide range of laws and regulations govern how we manage national forests and grasslands, from protecting plants and animals to providing a variety of services including recreation, forest products and land management assistance. Federal regulations even stipulate the use of Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, Forest Service symbols of wildfire prevention and conservation.