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Wildlife Program

Our National Forests and Grasslands provide important habitat to countless species (in forests, rangelands, riparian areas). People from across the country and the world come to National Forests to appreciate wildlife, through hunting and watching wildlife.

Our wildlife biologists work with partners and communities to restore wildlife habitats, conserve threatened and endangered species, maintain wildlife habitat connectivity and connect people with natures though wildlife events and viewing activities.


In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service wildlife program accomplished an enormous amount of restoration across the country. This work helped to forest resilient, adaptive ecosystem, keep common species common, and bolstered the economies of rural communities.

High priority items for the wildlife in 2016 include sage grouse habitat conservation, response to White Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats and identification of species of conservation concern as outlined in the 2012 planning rule. In 2016, we improved about 40,000 acres of habitat for greater sage grouse and implemented monitoring activities on more than 8,893 acres. Forest Service biologists in the eastern US continue d to respond to WNS through closing caves, monitoring bat populations and promoting bat conservation education. In the Pacific Northwest Region, the wildlife program worked to pull together a WNS response team after a WNS-positive bat was found in Washington State in March 2016.

In 2016:

  • Wildlife habitat restoration occurred on nearly 2.9 million acres of National Forest System lands across 9 regions covering 41 states.
  • More than 224 partners contributed to our efforts. Approximately 12% of the acres treated and 67% of the inventories and monitoring came from partner efforts (through contributions of time and/or funding).
  • Wildlife habitat restoration work contributed more than 47% of the Forest Service watershed restoration targets. The Forest Service recorded 3.2 million acres of watershed restoration improvements in FY201.  
  • Contributed to recovery efforts for 54 Endangered Species Act- listed species.
  • The Forest Service contributed to at least 928 educational events focused on teaching people about wildlife. These school visits, festival tents, nature hikes and other outreach events reached a recorded 1.3 million people.
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