U.S. Forest Service

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About Us

The US Forest Service was established in 1905 under President Theodore Roosevelt with the first Chief Forester being Gifford Pinchot. The Agency was organized and professionalized to manage and conserve the national forests under the utilitarian concept of “the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.”

The U.S. Forest Service strives to balance all products and services (economic and social) that can be provided by the Nation's forest with maintaining the land’s ecological health for future generations. Social scientists provide the basis for evaluating human values, beliefs, perceptions, needs, and their impacts on natural resource management practices and polities.

The U.S. Forest Service social scientists explore and inform policy decisions affecting neighboring State, Tribal, and private land ownership; nearby communities; underserved populations and the general public. Research projects and monitoring initiatives provide scientific information for rural development and tourism, sacred places, special forest products uses and markets, methods for resource valuation, human perceptions and trends in wilderness experience, human influences on the landscape, and the sustainability of current human demands on natural resources.


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.

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Human dimension information is given a framework and guidelines for use in forest planning. The framework considers the biological, physical, and human pieces of sustainable ecosystems as a guide for social assessment.
This paper presents a brief conceptual overview of inventory and monitoring and the role of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program in national assessments.
Background: Climate change may subject forests to climate conditions to which they are not adapted. Elevated temperatures can potentially reduce net photosynthesis by increasing respiration rates and increasingly long droughts dramatically increase morbidity.
This case study describes a technical visit to exchange information on natural resource management issues and community institutional structures between indigenous leaders from the Brazilian Amazon and the United States.
This survey is still being developed. Access over 100 OMB approved survey questions for visitor transportation studies, compare survey methods, and your project plans with this new collaborative tool set.
It is proposed that individual inventory, monitoring, modeling, and remote sensing systems be specialized to achieve portions of the objectives. These separate systems can be statistically linked to accomplish all objectives, which might simplify statistical designs and improve efficiency and timeliness.
An outdoor recreation customer service strategy designed for the USDA Forest Service (FS) was studied using data from a field test at national forest (NF) settings in southern California.
Find tools to model and describe changing agricultural conditions, watershed management, crop sequence plans, and rangeland policy. The variety of tools are designed to evaluate drought conditions, fire and fuel effects, carbon emissions, and simulate farm and forest vegetation behavior, and watershed erosion.
"Ecosystem service" has come to represent several related topics ranging from the measurement to the marketing of ecosystem service flows. In this article we examine several of these topics by first clarifying the meaning of "ecosystem service" and then (1) placing ecosystem goods and services within an economic framework, emphasizing the role and limitations of substitutes; (2) summarizing the methods for valuation of ecosystem goods and services; and (3) reviewing the various approaches for their provision and financing.