The National Forest Foundation (NFF) and the USDA Forest Service work toward a common goal: properly care for the National Forests and encourage Americans to experience their public lands. With more than 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands, it takes a great deal of effort and resources to maintain, protect, and oversee these vast landscapes—but our partnership ensures that we’ll get it done.
But how exactly does our partnership benefit our National Forests and Grasslands?
Caring for 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands is expensive. The work done on our National Forests and Grasslands—reforestation, increasing recreation opportunities, and maintaining roads and trails—takes time, energy, and money. The USDA Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation pool funds to safeguard the health, stability, and enjoyment of our National Forests. Investments made today ensure our forests are healthy for future generations.
The amount of work completed on the National Forests could not be done solely by the NFF and Forest Service— we need other partners too! Our partnership expands connections with other non-profits, local organizations and volunteer groups, as well as private entities to complete restoration projects on our National Forests. These partnerships have completed projects that benefit both our National Forests and the communities surrounding them. Additional partners on our team have completed watershed restoration work, reforestation efforts, and trail improvements on our National Forests.
Since 2001, the NFF has engaged 174,000 volunteers—and counting! Many volunteers are organized through local non-profit organizations such as trail restoration or ‘friends’ groups who receive grant funding. Volunteerism has provided millions of dollars’ worth of time into projects that could not have been completed without their help. All of their hard work has transformed our National Forests and helps to reach forest health and management goals, all while connecting people with their public lands.
Each summer, the NFF and the National Partnership Office at the Forest Service share a summer intern. This undergraduate student supports both organizations to accomplish tasks and projects—such as this blog post! Because summer is the busiest season due to field work and wildfires, the summer intern is one extra person on-hand to assist.