Restoring, enhancing, and maintaining the health of our Nation’s forests benefits the environment and creates jobs in rural communities. Increasing the pace and scale of restoration of the Nation’s forests is critically needed to address a variety of threats—including fire, climate change, bark beetle infestation, and others—for the health of our forest ecosystems, watersheds, and forest-dependent communities. The U.S. Forest Service is committed to implementing and facilitating restoration on our national forests and grasslands—including state, tribal, and private lands, working with partners in an all-lands approach—through our programs, tools, frameworks, and innovative research.
Restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Ecological restoration focuses on re-establishing the composition, structure, pattern, and ecological processes necessary to facilitate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem sustainability, resilience, and health under current and future conditions.
Ecosystem Restoration: A Framework for Restoring and Maintaining the National Forests and Grasslands (January 6, 2006) (PDF, 2.39 mb) - a foundational report, with recommendations that initiated the agency’s approach to restoration.
“Our shared vision begins with restoration. Restoration means managing forest lands first and foremost to protect our water resources, while making our forests more resilient to climate change.”
~ USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
“We will increase our focus on restoration of our forest and grassland ecosystems; restoration to increase resilience to ensure these systems are able to adapt to changes in climate.”
~ Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell