- United States National Forest
National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas focuses on timber harvesting, livestock grazing, water, wildlife, and recreation. Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, commercial use of national forests is permitted, and in many cases encouraged. National Forests are categorized by the World Commission on Protected Areas as IUCN Category VI (Managed Resource Protected Area).
The National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort.
There are conflicts between timber companies and environmentalists over the use of National Forest land. These conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining laws and road-building in National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands, shrublands, and forest understory are grazed by sheep, cattle, and, more recently, rising numbers of elk.
In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing almost 190 million acres (297,000 mi²/769 000 km²) of land. These lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River; Alaska alone accounts for 12 percent of all National Forest land.
There are two distinctly different types of National Forests. Those east of the Great Plains are primarily re-acquired or replanted forests; that is, the land had long been in the private domain but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests. In these cases, the areas of National Forest noted on most maps do not actually represent the extent of the National Forest, but only the extent of the authorized purchase zone. The actual amount of land acquired in most cases is much smaller. Those national forests west of the Great Plains are originally-owned forests. These are mostly lands reserved in the public domain by the U.S. government, and were never in private hands. In these cases, the areas of National Forests noted on maps are generally the true areas of the forest.
Many ski resorts operate in National Forests.
The Forest Service also administers National Grasslands.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
United States National Forest — Forêt nationale du Mont Hood … Wikipédia en Français
United States National Agricultural Library — National Agricultural Library redirects here. For other uses, see National Agricultural Library (disambiguation). U.S. National Agricultural Library Type National library … Wikipedia
United States National Grassland — Als United States National Grasslands werden Grünlandgebiete von nationaler Bedeutung in den Vereinigten Staaten bezeichnet, die auf Grund und Boden im Bundesbesitz vom US Landwirtschaftsminister als Schutzgebiete ausgewiesen und vom U.S. Forest… … Deutsch Wikipedia
United States national American football team — The United States national American football team is the official American football senior national team of the United States. It is controlled by USA Football and competed for the first time in the American Football World Cup in 2007. John… … Wikipedia
United States National Grassland — National Grasslands are authorized by Title III of the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act. For administrative purposes, they are essentially identical to U.S. National Forests, except that grasslands are areas primarily consisting of prairie. Like… … Wikipedia
List of areas in the United States National Park System — National Park Service logo. The National Park System of the United States is the collection of physical properties owned or administered by the National Park Service. This includes all areas designated National Parks and most National Monuments,… … Wikipedia
List of the United States National Park System official units — The Official Units of the National Park System of the United States is the collection of physical properties owned or administered by the National Park Service. As of 2011, there are 397 official units of the National Park System. However, this… … Wikipedia
List of United States National Lakeshores and Seashores — The United States has ten protected areas known as national seashores and four known as national lakeshores, which are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National seashores and lakeshores must be… … Wikipedia
National Forest — may refer to: United States National Forest, a classification of land National Forest, England National Forest (band), a British band National Forest (album), debut album by National Forest See also List of U.S. National Forests List of Brazilian … Wikipedia
United States Forest Service — Service national des forêts aux États Unis d Amérique Le service des forêts du département de l agriculture aux États Unis (The USDA Forest Service) est une agence du Département de l Agriculture des États Unis qui gère les forêts nationales du… … Wikipédia en Français