Tools and Fact Sheets: National Forests

Our national forests play a valuable role to ensure a healthy ecosystem for humans and wildlife. How we manage our forests now will have lasting impacts for generations to come.

The below tools and fact sheets provide more information about national forests:

Watershed Health in Wilderness, Roadless and Roaded Areas of the National Forest System

A white paper presenting the results of a national‐scale overlay of watershed health data on three general types of land management categories in the 193 million‐acre National Forest System: designated wilderness, inventoried roadless areas and all other lands. The findings presented here are made possible by new information about watershed health generated through the U.S. Forest Service’s Watershed Condition Framework (USDA Forest Service 2011a).

  • 80 percent of the Wilderness land is located in the healthiest watersheds
  • The majority of the water in the western U.S. flows from national forests. 
  • One in five Americans get their drinking water mostly from the national forests. 

Download Watershed Health in Wilderness, Roadless and Roaded Areas of the National Forest System

America’s Roadmap to Cost Savings, Jobs and Clean Water: The Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Initiative

A fact sheet about the Legacy Roads and Trails Initiative. Created in 2007 to reclaim unneeded, fiscally draining, and environmentally problematic roads and trails, $269 million has been appropriated to the program since FY08, resulting in an average of about $54 million per year. This has helped create or retain 700 to 915 jobs each year.

  • The National Forest road system totals 375,000 miles – enough to circle Earth 15 times.
  • National Forest roads are the primary source of pollution into streams
  • There is a multi-billion dollar road maintenance backlog and growing.

  Download America's Roadmap to Cost Savings, Jobs and Clean Water