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The UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE (USFS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands , which encompass 193 million acres (780,000 km2). Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, Business Operations, and the Research and Development branch. Managing approximately 25% of federal lands , it is the only major national land agency that is outside of the U.S. Department of the Interior .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Organization

* 2.1 Overview * 2.2 National * 2.3 Research Stations and Research Work Units * 2.4 Regions * 2.5 National Forest or Grassland * 2.6 Ranger District

* 3 Major divisions

* 3.1 Law Enforcement the Wilderness Act , P.L. 88-577; the National Forest Management Act , P.L. 94-588; the National Environmental Policy Act , P.L. 91-190; the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act , P.L. 95-313; and the Forest and Rangelands Renewable Resources Planning Act , P.L. 95-307.

In February 2009, the Government Accountability Office evaluated whether the Forest Service should be moved from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior, which already includes the National Park Service , the Fish and Wildlife Service , and the Bureau of Land Management , managing some 438,000,000 acres (1,770,000 km2) of public land.

ORGANIZATION

OVERVIEW

As of 2009, the Forest Service has a total budget authority of $5.5 billion, of which 42% is spent fighting fires. The Forest Service employs 34,250 employees in 750 locations, including 10,050 firefighters, 737 law enforcement personnel, and 500 scientists.

The mission of the Forest Service is "To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations." Its motto is "Caring for the land and serving people." As the lead federal agency in natural resource conservation, the US Forest Service provides leadership in the protection, management, and use of the nation's forest, rangeland, and aquatic ecosystems. The agency's ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological, economic, and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current and future needs. Through implementation of land and resource management plans, the agency ensures sustainable ecosystems by restoring and maintaining species diversity and ecological productivity that helps provide recreation, water, timber, minerals, fish, wildlife, wilderness, and aesthetic values for current and future generations of people.

The everyday work of the Forest Service balances resource extraction, resource protection, and providing recreation. The work includes managing 193,000,000 acres (780,000 km2) of national forest and grasslands, including 59,000,000 acres (240,000 km2) of roadless areas ; 14,077 recreation sites; 143,346 miles (230,693 km) of trails; 374,883 miles (603,316 km) of roads; and the harvesting of 1.5 billion trees per year. Further, the Forest Service fought fires on 2,996,000 acres (12,120 km2) of land in 2007.

The Forest Service organization includes ranger districts, national forests, regions, research stations and research work units and the Northeastern Area Office for State and Private Forestry. Each level has responsibility for a variety of functions.

NATIONAL

The Chief of the Forest Service is a career federal employee who oversees the entire agency. The Chief reports to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), an appointee of the President confirmed by the Senate. The Chief's staff provides broad policy and direction for the agency, works with the Administration to develop a budget to submit to Congress, provides information to Congress on accomplishments, and monitors activities of the agency. There are five deputy chiefs for the following areas: National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, Research and Development, Business Operations, and Finance.

RESEARCH STATIONS AND RESEARCH WORK UNITS

The Forest Products Laboratory, in Madison, Wisconsin .

The Forest Service Research and Development deputy area includes five research stations, the Forest Products Laboratory , and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry , in Puerto Rico. Station directors, like regional foresters, report to the Chief. Research stations include Northern, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and Southern. There are 92 research work units located at 67 sites throughout the United States. there are 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges that have been established progressively since 1908; many sites are more than 50 years old. The system provides places for long-term science and management studies in major vegetation types of the 195 million acres (790,000 km2) of public land administered by the Forest Service. Individual sites range from 47 to 22,500 ha in size.

Operations of Experimental Forests and Ranges are directed by local research teams for the individual sites, by Research Stations for the regions in which they are located, and at the level of the Forest Service.

Major themes in research at the Experimental Forests and Ranges includes: develop of systems for managing and restoring forests, range lands, and watersheds; investigate the workings of forest and stream ecosystems; characterize plant and animal communities; observe and interpret long-term environmental change and many other themes.

REGIONS

Map of the nine regions

There are nine regions in the USDA Forest Service; numbered 1 through 10 (Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 when the current Eastern Region was created from the former Eastern and North Central regions. ). Each encompasses a broad geographic area and is headed by a regional forester who reports directly to the Chief. The regional forester has broad responsibility for coordinating activities among the various forests within the region, for providing overall leadership for regional natural resource and social programs, and for coordinated regional land use planning.

* NORTHERN REGION: based in Missoula, Montana , the Northern Region (R1) covers six states (Montana, Northern Idaho, North Dakota, Northwestern South Dakota, Northeast Washington, and Northwest Wyoming), twelve National Forests and one National Grassland. * ROCKY MOUNTAIN: based in Golden, Colorado , the Rocky Mountain Region (R2) covers five states (Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and most of Wyoming and South Dakota), sixteen National Forests and seven National Grasslands. * SOUTHWESTERN: based in Albuquerque, New Mexico , the Southwestern Region (R3) covers two states (New Mexico and Arizona) and eleven National Forests. * INTERMOUNTAIN: based in Ogden, Utah , the Intermountain Region (R4) covers four states (Southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Western Wyoming), twelve national forests. * PACIFIC SOUTHWEST: based in Vallejo, California , The Pacific Southwest Region (R5) covers two states ( California and Hawaii), eighteen National Forests and one Management Unit. * PACIFIC NORTHWEST: based in Portland, Oregon the Pacific Northwest Region (R6) covers two states (Washington and Oregon), seventeen National Forests and one National Scenic Area. * SOUTHERN: based in Atlanta, Georgia , the Southern Region (R8) covers thirteen states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia; and Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), and thirty-four National Forests. * EASTERN: based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin , the Eastern Region (R9) covers twenty states (Maine, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, and New Jersey), seventeen National Forests, one Grassland and America's Outdoors Center for Conservation, Recreation, and Resources. * ALASKA: based in Juneau, Alaska , the Alaska Region (R10) covers one state (Alaska), and two National Forests.

NATIONAL FOREST OR GRASSLAND

Further information: List of U.S. National Forests and United States National Grassland

The Forest Service oversees 155 national forests and 20 grasslands. Each administrative unit typically comprises several ranger districts, under the overall direction of a forest supervisor. Within the supervisor's office, the staff coordinates activities among districts, allocates the budget, and provides technical support to each district. Forest supervisors are line officers and report to regional foresters.

RANGER DISTRICT

The Forest Service has over 600 ranger districts. Each district has a staff of 10 to 100 people under the direction of a district ranger, a line officer who reports to a forest supervisor. The districts vary in size from 50,000 acres (200 km2) to more than 1 million acres (4,000 km2). Most on-the-ground activities occur on ranger districts, including trail construction and maintenance, operation of campgrounds, and management of vegetation and wildlife habitat.

MAJOR DIVISIONS

LAW ENFORCEMENT "> Patch of the Law Enforcement "> A horse patrol of the Law Enforcement & Investigations unit

The U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement "> Forest Service team uses a 106 mm Recoilless Rifle for avalanche control at Mammoth Mountain in the Inyo National Forest in California . Note the Minarets in background.

The 193 million acres (780,000 km2) of public land that are managed as national forests and grasslands are collectively known as the National Forest System. These lands are located in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and comprise about 9% of the total land area in the United States. The lands are organized into 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands. The mission of the National Forest System is to protect and manage the forest lands so they best demonstrate the sustainable multiple-use management concept, using an ecological approach, to meet the diverse needs of people.

STATE AND PRIVATE FORESTRY

The mission of the State and Private Forestry program is to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners, state agencies, tribes, and community resource managers to help sustain the United States' urban and rural forests and to protect communities and the environment from wildland fires, insects, disease, and invasive plants. The program employs approximately 537 staff located at 17 sites throughout the country. The delivery of the State and Private Forestry program is carried out by eight National Forest System regions and the Northeastern Area.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The U.S. Forest Service R&D lab in Olympia , Washington

The research and development (R&D) arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service works to improve the health and use of the United States' forests and grasslands . Research has been part of the Forest Service mission since the agency's inception in 1905. Today, Forest Service researchers work in a range of biological, physical, and social science fields to promote sustainable management of United States' diverse forests and rangelands. Research employs about 550 scientists and several hundred technical and support staff, located at 67 sites throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico . Discovery and technology development and transfer is carried out through seven research stations.

Research focuses on informing policy and land management decisions and includes addressing invasive insects, degraded river ecosystems , or sustainable ways to harvest forest products. The researchers work independently and with a range of partners, including other agencies, academia, nonprofit groups, and industry. The information and technology produced through basic and applied science programs is available to the public for its benefit and use.

In addition to the Research Stations, the USFS R"> More than 80% of the 193 million acres (780,000 km2) of land managed by the United States Forest Service is in the western states. This map shows USFS lands as a percentage of total land area in each state.

Although a large volume of timber is logged every year, not all National Forests are entirely forested. There are tidewater glaciers in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and ski areas such as Alta, Utah in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest . In addition, the Forest Service is responsible for managing National Grasslands in the midwest. Furthermore, areas designated as wilderness by acts of Congress , prohibit logging, mining, road and building construction and land leases for purposes of farming and or livestock grazing.

Since 1978, several Presidents have directed the USFS to administer National Monuments inside of preexisting National Forests.

* Admiralty Island National Monument – Alaska * Giant Sequoia National Monument – California * Misty Fjords National Monument – Alaska * Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument – Washington * Newberry National Volcanic Monument – Oregon * Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument California (jointly with the Bureau of Land Management )

The Forest Service also manages Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pennsylvania , the home and estate of its first Chief, Gifford Pinchot .

FIGHTING FIRES

See also: History of wildfire suppression in the United States Smokey Bear poster

In August 1944, to reduce the number of forest fires , the Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council began distributing fire education posters featuring a black bear . The poster campaign was a success; the black bear would later be named " Smokey Bear ", and would, for decades, be the "spokesbear" for the Forest Service. Smokey Bear has appeared in innumerable TV commercials; his popular catch phrase, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires", is one of the most widely recognized slogans in the United States. A recent study found that 95% of the people surveyed could complete the phrase when given the first few words.

In September 2000, the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior developed a plan to respond to the fires of 2000, to reduce the impacts of these wildland fires on rural communities, and to ensure sufficient firefighting resources in the future. The report is entitled "Managing the Impacts of Wildfire on Communities and the Environment: A Report to the President In Response to the Wildfires of 2000"—The National Fire Plan for short. The National Fire Plan continues to be an integral part of the Forest Service today. The following are important operational features of the National Fire Plan:

* Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy: The 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and the subsequent 2001 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy act as the foundation of the National Fire Plan. * Basic Premise of the National Fire Plan: Investing now in an optimal firefighting force, hazardous fuels reduction, and overall community protection will provide for immediate protection and future cost savings. * Funding: Initially (2001), the National Fire Plan provided for an additional $1,100,994,000 for the Forest Service for a total wildland fire management budget of $1,910,193,000. In 2008, the total amount for the Forest Service in wildland fire management (not including emergency fire suppression funding) is $1,974,276,000.

In August 2014, Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, announced that the agency will have to put $400 to $500 million in wildfire prevention projects on hold because funding for firefighting is running low as the fiscal year ends. The decision is meant to preserve resources for fighting active fires burning in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Politicians of both parties have indicated that they believe the current funding structure is broken, but they have not agreed on steps to fix the funding allocation.

BUDGET

Although part of the Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service receives its budget through the Subcommittee on Appropriations—Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

APPROPRIATIONS TITLE (IN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS) FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015

Research 306,637 295,300 279,854 292,805 296,000

State and Private Forestry 277,596 252,926 239,696 229,980 232,653

National Forest System 1,542,248 1,554,137 1,455,341 1,496,330 1,494,330

Wildland Fire Management 2,168,042 1,974,467 1,868,795 2,162,302 2,333,298

Capital Improvement and Maintenance 472,644 394,089 358,510 350,000 360,374

Land Acquisition 33,982 53,701 50,665 44,654 48,666

Other Appropriations 5,179 5,875 4,821 5,540 4,865

Subtotal, Discretionary Appropriations * 5,096,746 4,845,876 4,936,514 5,496,611 5,073,246

Subtotal, Permanent Appropriations 627,234 581,595 507,631 566,231 293,316

TOTAL FOREST SERVICE $5,858,615 $5,584,586 $5,749,146 $6,264,941 $5,547,812

* Discretionary Appropriations includes Regular Appropriations plus Supplemental and Emergency Appropriations.

POPULAR CULTURE

Lassie with Robert Bray as U.S. Forest Ranger Corey Stuart

The U.S. Forest Service achieved widespread awareness during the 1960s, as it became the setting for the long running classic TV show _ Lassie _, with storylines focusing on Lassie's adventures with various forest rangers.

The iconic collie's association with the Forest Service led to Lassie receiving numerous awards and citations from the U.S. Senate and the Department of Agriculture, and was partly responsible for a bill regarding soil and water pollution that was signed into law in early 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson , which was dubbed by some as "The Lassie Program".

CONTROVERSIES

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The history of the Forest Service has been fraught with controversy, as various interests and national values have grappled with the appropriate management of the many resources within the forests. These values and resources include grazing , timber , mining , recreation , wildlife habitat, and wilderness . Because of continuing development elsewhere, the large size of National Forests have made them de facto wildlife reserves for a number of rare and common species. In recent decades, the importance of mature forest for the spotted owl and a number of other species led to great changes in timber harvest levels.

In the 1990s, the agency was involved in scandal when it illegally provided surplus military aircraft to private contractors for use as airtankers . (See U.S. Forest Service airtanker scandal .)

Another controversial issue is the policy on road building within the National Forests. In 1999, President Clinton ordered a temporary moratorium on new road construction in the National Forests to "assess their ecological, economic, and social values and to evaluate long-term options for their management." Five and half years later, the Bush administration replaced this with a system where each state could petition the Forest Service to open forests in their territory to road building.

Some years the agency actually loses money on its timber sales.

SEE ALSO

* United States portal

* Forests of the United States * National Forest Foundation * List of legislation governing the United States Forest Service * American Experience (season 27) "The Big Burn" (2014) * Notable Members of the U.S. Forest Service

* Gifford Pinchot * Theodore Woolsey * Franklin B. Hough * Aldo Leopold * Raphael Zon * Michael Dombeck * Ed Pulaski * Annie E. Hoyle * Jack Ward Thomas

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ " Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Overview" (PDF). USFS. p. 2. Retrieved 2015-08-17. * ^ "Office of the Chief". _Agency Leadership_. US Forest Service. * ^ _A_ _B_ _ This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Forest Service document "Agency Organization". * ^ A_ _B_ General Accounting Office (February 11, 2009). "Federal Land Management: Observations on a Possible Move of the Forest Service into the Department of the Interior". * ^ Sheldon, William G. "History of the Boone and Crockett Club Pg 64-80". _Scholar Works, University of Montana_. Boone and Crockett Club. Retrieved 1 February 2017. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "The U.S. Forest Service - An Overview" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. * ^ Heinrich, Bernd (December 20, 2009). "Clear-Cutting the Truth About Trees". _The New York Times_. Retrieved May 26, 2010. * ^ The Land We Cared for... A History of the Forest Service's Eastern Region. 1997, Conrad, David E., Forest Service. * ^ "Western States Data Public Land Acreage". _wildlandfire.com_. * ^ "The Story of Smokey Bear". United States Forest Service. Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2008-01-26. * ^ Freking, Kevin. "MONEY ALLOCATED FOR FIGHTING FIRES TO RUN OUT". _Associated Press_. Retrieved 6 August 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ " Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Overview" (PDF). USFS. * ^ _A_ _B_ " Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Overview" (PDF). USFS. * ^ _A_ _B_ " Lassie Television Series". That's Entertainment. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013. * ^ "Awards". The Lassie Network. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2013-08-09. * ^ "Finding Aid for the Edmund S. Muskie Papers, Series XV: Moving images 1948-2000MC105.15". _bates.edu_. * ^ "Home". _Roadless Area Conservation_. US Forest Service. * ^ "Taxpayers Losing Money to Loggers on U.S. Land, Forest Service Admits". _Los Angeles Times_. November 22, 1997. Retrieved 2009-04-03.

FURTHER READING

History sources

* USDA Forest Service – The First Century * 100 Years of Federal Forestry * History of the Boone and Crockett Club Pg 64-80 * Egan, Timothy (2009). _The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire That Saved America_. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-618-96841-1 . * The short film _"Visions of the wild (1985)"_ is available for free download at the Internet Archive

Research

* Historic technical reports from the Forest Service (and other Federal agencies) are available in the Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL) * "USDA Forest Service Research Publications". Retrieved January 23, 2006.

Education

* The Greatest Good documentary * "The Greatest Good:100years" * Smokey Bear * Wildlife Crossings Toolkit The Wildlife Crossings Toolkit provides information for terrestrial biologists, engineers, and transportation professionals to assist in maintaining or restoring habitat connectivity across transportation infrastructure on public lands.

EXTERNAL LINKS