A Description of Forest Service Programs and Responsibilities

A supporting technical document to the 1989 RPA Assessment

This document describes the programs and responsibilities of the Forest Service, including research, cooperative programs, and management of the National Forest System. These program affect almost all forest lands in the United States, including timberlands, woodlands, brushlands, grasslands, alpine areas, rangelands, and associated waters. These lands total 1.6 billion acres, or about 70% of the total land area of the United States. Forest Service activities are also concerned with the management of trees, forests, and associated resource in and near urban areas. Forest research and cooperative programs include substantial efforts to develop and apply new technology in products utilization and to provide help to wood-using industries and consumers who use forest products.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Forest Service engages in a wide variety of activities that were grouped into four major programs for the purposes of this document:

1. Comprehensive research programs aimed at the solution of problems relating to the management of all types and ownerships of forests, rangelands, and associated waters; and to the industrial, environmental, and other uses of these natural resources.

2. Nationwide cooperative forestry programs conducted with state forestry agencies in efforts to protect and improve nearly a billion acres of forests, rangelands, and associated water resources in private and nonfederal public ownerships.

3. Direct administration of 191 million acres of national forests, national grasslands, and land utilization projects, and the management of their resources for the use of the people.

4. Participating in programs aimed at developing employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged people and the support of human and community values.

USDA Forest Service. 1989. A Description of Forest Service Programs and Responsibilities. General Technical Report RM-176. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 45 p.