National Forest Foundation

National Forests During Government Shutdown

The National Forest System


During this challenging time, the National Forest Foundation wants to ensure Americans remain knowledgeable and safe when visiting our public lands. As owners of 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands, we all need to be good stewards of these special places.

During the partial government shutdown, the US Forest Service is unfortunately unable to maintain our public lands. Therefore, it’s up to all visitors to be respectful and responsible while visiting. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan a visit to our National Forests.

Photo by Anna Garrison

Deschutes National Forest, Oregon.

Regular services are probably not happening. Keep in mind that while Forest Service staff are unable to work, basic services like trash pick-up and bathroom maintenance are unavailable.

Visit our National Forests safely. Without agency staff, be aware that many snow plowing and trail or road condition updates will not be completed. We appreciate Forest Service staff for their diligent attention to safety but, in their absence, such responsibility falls entirely to us when we visit forests.

Practice Leave No Trace principles. Regardless of the time of year, all visitors to our public lands should practice these principles and kindly ask others to do the same. This will help ensure our National Forests and Grasslands stay healthy for future visitors. Here is a refresher on the principles of Leave No Trace.

At the National Forest Foundation, we’re continuing work to support our National Forests. We’re busy looking ahead to this year’s field season of on-the-ground work as well as continuing our collaborative work.

For the most up-to-date information regarding the shutdown, visit

Related Posts

Born Out of My Firsts

This past fall, the NFF sponsored a blog contest to celebrate local community connections the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument outside of Los Angeles. Special thanks to REI for helping to sponsor the contest and providing prizes for the winning entries. Read Monica's second place entry here.

Read more

K.D. Swan Photos Capture Early National Forests

K.D. Swann, introduced Americans to public lands in the West. The U.S. Forest Service hired Swan in 1911 as a forest assistant in Missoula, Montana. With his interest in forest management and ability for storytelling through photography, Swan captured 300,000 images he captured during his 36 years with the Forest Service.

Read more

10 Things You Didn't Know About Our National Forests

Most Americans can name several National Parks. Ask the same person to name a few National Forest and they’ll probably struggle to identify more than one. The National Forest System is a vast and rich component of our public lands. Check out this list to learn more about these amazing places. Then take a weekend and explore the one nearest you, chances are it’s within a couple hours’ drive.

Read more

Share this post on social media