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Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage

General Information About the Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service agency shield image; click to go their web site Forest Service
  • Purpose: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the purpose of the Forest Service—to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.
  • Federal Department: Agriculture
  • Website:
  • Mission, motto, vision, and guiding principles:
  • Strategic plan:
  • Manages 33% of the acreage within the National Wilderness Preservation System.
  • Uses 113 administrative units to manage 448 designated wilderness areas.

Wilderness Areas on the National Forests