Skip to main content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Geologic Resources


The Forest Service Geologic Resources Program plays a key role in helping the agency to achieve its mission of "Caring for the Land and Serving People." This role is to provide a basic scientific understanding of the earth -- the "Land" -- in particular the materials of which it is made, the geologic processes which have occurred and are in action today and geologic history as recorded in the rocks. This information is needed for ecologically based planning or implementing a wide range of Forest Service land and resource management activities. CAVES AND KARST Caves and karst resources occur in over 100 national forests in the United States. Karst is formed by the dissolution of soluble carbonate bedrock such as limestone, dolostone and marble. LEARN MORE GROUNDWATER Groundwater is a critical component of the hydrologic cycle and is important in sustaining groundwater dependent ecosystems and support biodiversity on many forests and grasslands. LEARN MORE PALEONTOLOGY The Forest Service is dedicated to protecting and managing the paleontological (fossil) resources which are important to our natural resource inheritance. LEARN MORE STORIES IN STONE Coming Soon! Explore the geologic resources of our National Forests and Grasslands in this interactive map. LEARN MORE