The overriding objective of the Forest Service's forest management program is to ensure that the National Forests are managed in an ecologically sustainable manner. The National Forests were originally envisioned as working forests with multiple objectives: to improve and protect the forest, to secure favorable watershed conditions, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use of citizens of the United States. Forest management objectives have since expanded and evolved to include ecological restoration and protection, research and product development, fire hazard reduction, and the maintenance of healthy forests. Guided by law, regulation, and agency policy, Forest Service forest managers use timber sales, as well as other vegetation management techniques such as prescibed fire, to achieve these objectives. These activities have captured substantial public attention, and in some cases, become hotly debated issues.
- A Historical Perspective
A historical perspective of Forest Service forest management.
Forest management in the latter part of the 20th Century.
- An Ecological Perspective
Forest management's role in managing vegetation, restoring ecosystems, reducing hazards, and maintaining forest health.
- Planning for the Future
Forest planning guides forest management.
National Headquarters Forest Management Staff
Forest Management is a Forest Service National Headquarters staff area of the National Forest System program unit. The Forest Management staff is responsible to provide agency policy and direction for forest vegetation management on the national forests and national grasslands. Forest Management has two staff areas.
Integrated Vegetation Management
The Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) staff provides national policy and direction for reforestation, silviculture, forest nurseries and seed extractories, genetics, inventory and monitoring, climate change, restoration, and information resource management. The IVM staff also implements the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program, oversees the Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) Program, and manages Reforestation Partnerships.
The Forest Products staff is responsible for management of programs with authority to dispose of National Forest System timber and non-timber forest products harvested for commercial, personal, and Tribal uses. Focus areas include sale preparation, contract administration, purchaser suspension and debarment, special forest products, and related authorities and programs.
Forest Products includes a subunit, the Forest Management Service Center (FMSC) located in Fort Collins, Colorado, at the Natural Resources Research Center.