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
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
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
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.