United States Forest Service

United States Department of Agriculture

The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the Nation’s foremost Federal forestry organization, providing leadership in the management, protection, use, research, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources on our country’s forests and grasslands. In addition to providing technical and financial assistance to State and private agencies, the Forest Service is a world leader in forest research.

The national forests and grasslands the agency manages are America’s great outdoors. They encompass 193 million acres (78 million hectares) of land—an area larger than Texas. National forests provide opportunities for recreation in open spaces and natural environments. People enjoy a wide variety of activities on national forests, including backpacking in remote wilderness areas, mastering an all-terrain vehicle over a challenging trail, enjoying the views along a scenic byway, or fishing in a great trout stream, to mention just a few. In addition, national forests and grasslands support the economic activity of the Nation through marketable products associated with timber production, livestock grazing, mineral production, and other activities.

Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the Forest Service, summarized the agency’s mission: “to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.”

For more information please visit the link to the Forest Service Fact Sheet on this page.