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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The Economic Research Service is a primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The VBA technical guide is designed to acquaint Forest Service staff and line officers with the concepts of values, beliefs, and attitudes; to demonstrate ways in which public values, beliefs, and attitudes (VBAs) and associated concepts can be measured and analyzed; and to suggest methods for applying VBA information to decisions about projects and plans. While this is a Forest Service document, the concepts and methods are widely applicable.
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These toolboxes are a compilation of resources on current issues in wilderness management.
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