Highlights in the History of Forest Conservation


Many of the present National Forests existed asForest Reserves before this name was changed to National Forests in1907. The first reserve, the Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve, wasset up March 30, 1891 by President Benjamin Harrison.

Over the years, the names, number, and acreage ofNational Forests have changed considerably as new ones were set up andexisting ones were consolidated for economy and efficiency ofadministration, or transferred to other uses and agencies. Large areasbecame National Parks. In many cases two or more smaller forests whichstill retain their names are administered by one supervisor, for economyand efficiency. (This can be noted where forests have the sameheadquarters in the list below. For instance, in the South, where manyforests are small, there are 33 forests but only 14 supervisors, 10 ofwhich supervise all the National Forests in their States.) One verylarge forest, the Tongass in Alaska, has three area managers in lieu ofa forest supervisor.

Thus in 1975 there are 155 National Forests, but only124 forest supervisors, covering 183.0 million acres. Virtually all thisland is open to public recreation, and about 14.6 million acres are inWilderness or Primitive Areas, closed to timber cutting, mechanicalvehicles, and works of man. Besides the National Forest lands, there areabout 3.8 million acres on 19 National Grasslands, bringing the totalNational Forest System lands to 186.8 million acres. The grazing areasin the Great Plains and Great Basin, plus millions of acres ofrelatively open National Forest land, are available for regulated use ofdomestic livestock and for wildlife habitat.

The research organization of the Forest Serviceincludes the world-famous Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis.; 8Forest and Range Experiment Stations which serve various regions; andthe Institute of Tropical Forestry.

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National Forests—Dates Established and Location of Headquarters

(Montana, northern Idaho, northwestern South Dakota, northeasternWashington)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
BeaverheadJuly 1, 1908Dillon, Mont.
BitterrootFeb. 22, 1897Hamilton, Mont.
ClearwaterJuly 1, 1908Orofino, Idaho
CusterJuly 2, 1908Billings, Mont.
DeerlodgeJuly 1, 1908Butte, Mont.
FlatheadFeb. 22, 1897Kalispell, Mont.
GallatinFeb. 10, 1899Bozeman, Mont.
HelenaApr. 12, 1906Helena, Mont.
Idaho Panhandle (formerly Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe, & Kaniksu)
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
KootenaiAug. 13, 1906Libby, Mont.
Lewis and ClarkFeb. 22, 1897Great Falls, Mont.
LoloSept. 20, 1906Missoula, Mont.
NezperceJuly 1, 1908Grangeville, Idaho

(Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
ArapahoJuly 1, 1908Golden, Colo.
BighornFeb. 22, 1897Sheridan, Wyo.
Black Hills (includes former Harney National Forest, established May 16, 1911)Feb. 22, 1897Custer, S. Dak.
Grand Mesa (established Dec. 24, 1892, as Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve)July 1, 1908Delta, Colo.
GunnisonMay 12, 1905Gunnison, Colo.
Samuel R. McKelvieOct. 15, 1971Chadron, Nebr.
Medicine Bow (includes part of former Hayden National Forest, added in 1929)May 22, 1902Laramie, Wyo.
NebraskaJuly 2,1908Lincoln, Nebr.
PikeFeb. 11, 1892Colorado Springs, Colo.
Rio GrandeJuly 1, 1908Monte Vista, Colo.
Roosevelt (original name "Colorado")July 1, 1910Fort Collins, Colo.
Routt (includes part of former Hayden National Forest)June 12, 1905Steamboat Springs, Colo.
San IsabelApr. 11, 1902Pueblo, Colo.
San Juan (includes former Montezuma, established June 13, 1905)June 3, 1905Durango, Colo.
Shoshone (originally Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, established Mar. 30, 1891. Also includes former Washakie)July 1, 1908Cody, Wyo.
UncompahgreJune 14, 1905Delta, Colo.
White River (includes former Holy Cross National Forest)Oct. 16, 1891Glenwood Springs, Colo.

(Arizona, New Mexico)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
ApacheJuly 1, 1908Springerville, Ariz.
CarsonJuly 1, 1908Taos, N. Mex.
Cibola (includes former Manzano National Forest)Dec. 3, 1931Albuquerque, N. Mex.
CoconinoJuly 2, 1908Flagstaff, Ariz.
CoronadoJuly 2, 1908Tucson, Ariz.
GilaMar. 2, 1899Silver City, N. Mex.
Kaibab (includes part of former Grand Canyon National Forest)July 2, 1908Williams, Ariz.
LincolnJuly 26, 1902Alamogordo, N. Mex.
PrescottMay 10, 1898Prescott, Ariz.
Santa Fe (includes Pecos River Forest Reserve, established Jan. 11, 1892)Mar. 27, 1918Santa Fe, N. Mex.
SitgreavesJuly 1, 1908Holbrook, Ariz.
TontoOct. 3, 1905Phoenix. Ariz.

(Utah, southern Idaho, western Wyoming, Nevada, a small part ofCalifornia)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
AshleyJuly 1, 1908Vernal, Utah
Boise (includes original Payette National Forest, established June 3, 1905)July 1, 1908Boise, Idaho
Bridger (formerly Wyoming National Forest)July 1, 1908Kemmerer, Wyo.
CacheMay 26, 1908Logan, Utah
CaribouJan. 15, 1907Pocatello, Idaho
ChallisJuly 1, 1908Challis, Idaho
DixieSept. 25, 1905Cedar City, Utah
FishlakeFeb. 10, 1899Richfield, Utah
Humboldt (includes former Nevada National Forest, established Feb. 10, 1909)July 2, 1908Elko, Nev.
Manti-La Sal (includes former La Sal, established Jan. 24, 1906)May 29, 1903Price, Utah
Payette (former Weiser National Forest, established May 25. 1905, and Idaho National Forest, established July 1, 1908)Apr. 1, 1944McCall, Idaho
SalmonNov. 5, 1906Salmon, Idaho
Sawtooth (includes former Minidoka National Forest, established July 2, 1908)May 29, 1905Twin Falls, Idaho
TargheeJuly 1, 1908St. Anthony. Idaho
TetonFeb. 22, 1897Jackson, Wyo.
ToiyabeMar. 1, 1907Reno, Nev.
UintaFeb. 22, 1897Provo, Utah
Wasatch (includes former Salt Lake National Forest)Aug. 16, 1906Salt Lake City, Utah

(California, western Nevada, a small part of Oregon)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
Angeles (San Gabriel Timberland Reserve established Dec. 20, 1892)July 1, 1908Pasadena, Calif.
Calaveras BigtreeMay 11, 1954Sonora, Calif.
ClevelandJuly 2, 1908San Diego, Calif.
EldoradoJuly 28, 1910Placerville, Calif.
InyoMay 25, 1907Bishop, Calif.
KlamathMay 6, 1905Yreka, Calif.
LassenJune 2, 1905Susanville, Calif.
Los Padres (formerly Santa Barbara National Forest)Dec. 22, 1903Santa Barbara, Calif.
Mendocino (formerly California National Forest)July 2, 1908Willows, Calif.
ModocNov. 29, 1904Alturas, Calif.
PlumasMar. 27, 1905Quincy, Calif.
San BernardinoFeb. 25, 1893San Bernardino. Calif.
Sequoia July 2, 1908Porterville, Calif.
ShastaOct. 3, 1905 Redding, Calif.
SierraFeb. 14, 1893Fresno, Calif.
Six RiversJune 3, 1947Eureka, Calif.
StanislausFeb. 22, 1897Sonora, Calif.
TahoeApr. 13, 1899Nevada City, Calif.
TrinityApr. 26, 1905Redding, Calif.

(Oregon, Washington, a small part of California)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
Gifford Pinchot (formerly Columbia National Forest)July 1, 1908Vancouver, Wash.
ColvilleMar. 1, 1907Colville, Wash.
DeschutesJuly 1, 1908Bend, Oreg.
FremontSept. 17, 1906Lakeview, Oreg.
MalheurJuly 1, 1908John Day, Oreg.
Mount Baker (formerly Washington National Forest)Feb. 22, 1897Bellingham, Wash.
Mount Hood (formerly Oregon National Forest)June 30, 1911Portland, Oreg.
OchocoJune 30, 1911Prineville, Oreg.
Okanogan (formerly Chelan National Forest)July 1, 1908Okanogan, Wash.
OlympicFeb. 22, 1908Olympia, Wash.
Rogue River (formerly Crater National Forest)July 1, 1908Medford, Oreg.
SiskiyouOct. 5, 1906Grants Pass, Oreg.
SiuslawJuly 1, 1908Corvallis, Oreg.
SnoqualmieJuly 1, 1908Seattle, Wash.
UmatillaJune 13, 1908Pendleton, Oreg.
UmpquaMar. 2, 1907Roseburg, Oreg.
WallowaMay 6, 1905Baker, Oreg.
WenatcheeJuly 1, 1908Wenatchee, Wash.
WhitmanJuly 1, 1908Baker, Oreg.
Willamette (includes former Santiam and Cascade National Forests)Apr. 6, 1933Eugene, Oreg.
WinemaJuly 1, 1961Klamath Falls, Oreg.

(Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, NorthCarolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
AngelinaOct. 13, 1936Lufkin, Tex.
ApalachicolaMay 13, 1936Tallahassee, Fla.
BienvilleJune 15, 1936Jackson, Miss.
William B. Bankhead (formerly Black Warrior National Forest)Jan. 15, 1918Montgomery, Ala.
ChattahoocheeJuly 9, 1936Gainesville, Ga.
CherokeeJuly 14, 1920Cleveland, Tenn.
ConecuhJuly 17, 1936Montgomery, Ala.
CroatanJuly 29, 1936Asheville, N.C.
Daniel Boone (formerly Cumberland National Forest)Feb. 23, 1937Winchester, Ky.
Davy CrockettOct. 13, 1936Lufkin, Tex.
DeltaJan. 12, 1961Jackson, Miss.
De SotoJune 17, 1936Jackson, Miss.
Francis MarionJuly 10, 1936Columbia, S.C.
George Washington (formerly Shenandoah National Forest)May 16, 1918Harrisonburg, Va.
Holly SpringsJune 15, 1936Jackson, Miss.
HomochittoJuly 20, 1936Jackson, Miss.
JeffersonApr. 21, 1936Roanoke Va.
KisatchieJune 10, 1930Alexandria, La.
NantahalaJan. 29, 1920Asheville, N.C.
OcalaNov. 24, 1908Tallallassee, Fla.
OconeeNov. 27, 1959Gainesville, Ga.
OsceolaJuly 10, 1931Tallahassee, Fla.
Ouachita (formerly Arkansas National Forest)Dec. 18, 1907Hot Springs, Ark.
OzarkMar. 6, 1908Russellville, Ark.
PisgahOct. 17, 1916Asheville, N.C.
SabineOct. 13, 1936Lufkin, Tex.
St. FrancisNov. 8, 1960Russellville, Ark.
Sam HoustonOct. 13, 1936Lufkin, Tex.
SumterJuly 13, 1936Columbia, S.C.
TalladegaJuly 17, 1936Montgomery, Ala.
TombigbeeNov. 27, 1959Jackson, Miss.
TuskegeeNov. 27, 1959Montgomery, Ala.

(Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Maine, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey,New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, andWisconsin.)

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
AlleghenySept. 24, 1923Warren, Pa.
ChequamegonNov. 13, 1933Park Falls, Wis.
Chippewa (formerly Minnesota National Forest)May 23, 1908Cass Lake, Minn.
ClarkSept. 11, 1939Rolla, Mo.
Green MountainApr. 25, 1932Rutland, Vt.
Hiawatha (includes former Marquette National Forest, established Feb. 10, 1909)Jan. 16, 1931Escanaba, Mich.
HoosierOct. 1, 1951Bedford, Ind.
Huron (formerly Michigan National Forest)Feb. 11, 1909Cadillac, Mich.
ManisteeOct. 25, 1938Cadillac, Mich.
Mark TwainSept. 11, 1939Springfield, Mo.
MonongahelaApr. 28, 1920Elkins, W. Va.
NicoletMar. 2, 1933Rhinelander, Wis.
OttawaJan. 27, 1931Ironwood, Mich.
ShawneeSept. 6, 1939Harrisburg, Ill.
SuperiorFeb. 13, 1909Duluth, Minn.
Wayne (Ohio)Oct. 1, 1951Bedford, Ind.
White MountainMay 16, 1918Laconia, N.H.


National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
ChugachJuly 23, 1907Anchorage, Alaska
TongassSept. 10, 1907
  Stikine Area
Petersburg. Alaska
  Chatham Area
Sitka, Alaska
  Ketchikan Area
Ketchikan, Alaska

Puerto Rico

National ForestWhen establishedHeadquarters
Caribbean (formerly Luquillo National Forest)Jan. 17, 1903Rio Piedras, P.R.


Intermountain, Ogden, Utah
North Central, St. Paul, Minn.
Northeastern, Upper Darby, Pa.
Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oreg
Pacific Southwest, Berkeley, Calif.
Rocky Mountain, Fort Collins, Colo.
Southeastern, Asheville, N.C.
Southern, New Orleans, La.

Research in wood utilization is done at the Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wis.

Research in tropical forestry is done at the Institute of Tropical Forestry, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

Research in northern forestry is done at the Institute of Northern Forestry, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Research in forestry of islands of the Pacific Ocean is done at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. Honolulu, Hawaii.


Northeastern, Upper Darby, Pa.
Southeastern Area, Atlanta, Ga.

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Last Updated: 19-Mar-2008