The United States Forest Service (USFS) is an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for managing 193 million acres of public lands, including 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands. USFS also shares the responsibility, with state, tribal, and local agencies for stewardship of nearly 500 million acres of non-Federal forests.
USFS’s primary land use programs include: forest restoration, timber harvesting, watershed management, grazing, recreation, agroforestry, wilderness management, forest health research, and wildfire response and management.
Facts about the USFS:
- Has a $5.5 billion budget
- Fire management accounts for 42% of their budget
- Employs 34,250 people (550 scientists, 10,050 firefighters, and 737 law enforcement personnel)
- Manages 14,077 Recreation Sites
- Maintains 143,346 miles of trails
- 60% of U.S. alpine skiing occurs on national forests
- 124 million Americans rely on national forests and grasslands for clean drinking water
- The National Forest Road System consists of over 380,000 miles of roads
LOCAL USFS OFFICES
(See below for contact information)
“The USFS’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”
SAN JUAN (CO)
The San Juan National Forest covers 1.9 million acres in southwest Colorado. Management responsibilities include: Chimney Rock National Monument, Hermosa Creek Special Management Area, Hermosa Wilderness, Weminuche Wilderness, Lizard Head Wilderness, Piedra Area, San Juan Scenic Byway, and South San Juan Wilderness.
RIO GRANDE (CO)
The Rio Grande National Forest covers over 1.8 million acres of public land in south central Colorado. Management responsibilities include: Continental Divide Trail, La Garita Wilderness, Wheeler Geologic Area, Silverthread Scenic Byway, Sangre De Cristo Wilderness, South San Juan Wilderness, Wolf Creek Ski Area, and the Weminuche Wilderness.
SANTA FE (NM)
The Santa Fe National Forest covers over 1.6 million acres in northern New Mexico. Management responsibilities include: Southwest Jemez Mountains Restoration, Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway, Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway, Pecos Wilderness, San Pedro Parks Wilderness, Chama River Canyon Wilderness, Dome Wilderness, Jemez National Recreation Area, and the Rio Chama, Pecos, and East Fork of the Jemez Wild and Scenic Rivers.