Restoration means creating and maintaining healthy, resilient forests capable of delivering all the benefits that people get from them—clean air and water, carbon sequestration, habitat for native fish and wildlife, forest products, opportunities for outdoor recreation, and more. When we restore our Nation’s forests, we create jobs in rural communities and benefit the environment at the same time.
Climate change, catastrophic wildfire, bark beetle infestation, invasive species, record droughts, and other stressors threaten the health of our forest and watersheds, and the people that rely on them. With our valuable state, tribal, local government, and private partners we are working hard to increase the rate of restoration in the face of these mounting challenges. We use an all-lands approach, because we know that problems do not stop at forest boundaries, and we work every day to restore the ecological integrity our forests need to be healthy now and into the future.
Explore the links to the left to see how we are restoring public lands by implementing programs, supporting communities, utilizing frameworks, and mitigating threats.
- Check out the results of the 2016 Collaborative Restoration Workshop, which brought together over 300 restoration practitioners to share the latest innovations and best practices in collaborative restoration on and around National Forest System land.
- Read the Forest Service Ecosystem Restoration Policy in the Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2020.
- Read the 2015 report on the Forest Service accelerated restoration efforts: From Accelerating Restoration to Creating and Maintaining Resilient Landscapes and Communities Across the Nation (PDF, 18.1 MB).
- Read the original 2012 accelerated restoration report: Increasing the Pace of Restoration and Job Creation on our National Forests (PDF, 5.9 MB).
- Read 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