U.S. Forest Service

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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.

Related Content

Natural resource conservation plans have been included in some of these plan evaluation studies; however, no meta-analysis of natural resource planning literature has been conducted. We selected 10 natural resource conservation plan evaluation studies in peer reviewed literature, identified the plan components being evaluated and the methods used in each study, and compared our findings to two other plan evaluation meta-analyses in the literature.
While previous research suggests suitable habitat exists in northern Lower Michigan to support a small wolf population, habitat availability at other hierarchical levels, including den habitat and the ability of individuals to disperse successfully among suitable habitat patches, has not been assessed. We evaluated the den habitat availability and landscape connectivity using a multi-scale modeling approach that integrates hierarchical habitat selection theory as well as spatial structure to assess whether corridors exist for wolves to successfully recolonize and raise pups in northern Lower Michigan.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires agency and public participation in the planning process for new usage projects proposed for public land. This includes disclosure of all alternative actions, and brings out environmental concerns of the affected public, and requires environmental impact consideration throughout the planning and decision making process. There are three levels of documents needed depending on the project: Categorical Exclusions for routine administrative procedures, Environmental Assessment for the proposed plans, and Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed actions.
This method administers the paired comparison experiment that presents the pairs of items on the monitor in a unique random order to control for order effects.
The official national inventory of America's parks and other protected lands published by the USGS Gap Analysis Program. Explore interactive maps, learn about state stewards, download data and reports, and access web services.
In the northeastern United States, some coyotes carry genetic signatures from past hybridization events with eastern wolves (C. lupus lycaon). These so-called "coywolves" may have differential predation or competitive success compared with the western origin coyotes with whom they share the contemporary landscape.
Ecosystems and species show evidence of climate change impacts, and this tool allows managers to quantify the relative impact of expected climate changes for terrestrial vertebrate species.
The WiRe team implements tiered wildfire risk assessment to inform wildfire education programs. The approach uses two datasets: rapid wildfire assessment, and social surveys.
This publication provides descriptions of selected articles regarding Traditional Ecological Knowledge of fire and Western Fire Science. It describes key article points so that one wishing to research the issue more can preview the literature. Also, it discusses the possibility of turning to TEK more with time for forest management.