Forests are an intricate part of our life, from the air they clean to the water they provide. So, we invite you to love your national forests.
For more than 100 years, the U.S. Forest Service has been caring for the land and serving people. Here are a few examples of why we believe everyone should love their forests all year-round:
- Watersheds on national forests are the source of 20 percent of the nation’s water supply, a value estimated to exceed $27 billion per year.
- National forests and grasslands provide the greatest diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities in the world, connecting you with nature in an unmatched variety of settings and activities. You can hike, bike, ride horses, picnic, camp, hunt, fish and navigate waterways.
- The Forest Service maintains thousands of campgrounds and other facilities and 130,000 miles of foot and equestrian trails on more than 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands.
- Nine out of 10 wildfires are preventable, which means nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people’s carelessness.The
- Forest Service is working hard to improve or reestablish native habitat and to control or eliminate invasive plants and animals.
- The Forest Service protects ancient cliff dwellings and works with Tribes to protect their sacred sites as part of our national heritage.
- The Forest Service designed safer bats for Major League Baseball resulting in a 50 percent reduction in the number of bats broken during play.
Now, here are some easy ways to love your forest:
- You can start by visiting your local national forest or grassland. You are closer than you think. There are 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
- Have a tree planted in someone’s honor or establish a memorial or commemorative gift. Your support will help the National Forest Foundation help us restore treasured lands.
- Donate your time. Passport in Time is the agency’s volunteer archeology and historic preservation program. Volunteers work with Forest Service archaeologists and historians on diverse activities such as an archaeological survey and excavation, rock art restoration, archival research, historic structure restoration, oral history gathering and analysis and curation of artifacts. Talk to your family and friends, find a project, and sign up.
- Get the kids to join the fun. Parents or teachers can help kids qualify to become a Junior Forest Ranger or Junior Snow Ranger by downloading the adventure guide and helping with the activities.
Remember, there are many ways to love your forest, so whatever you choose, take the time to enjoy America’s Great Outdoors!