National Forest Foundation

Who We Are

Chartered by Congress, the National Forest Foundation was created in 1993 with a simple mission: bring people together to restore and enhance our National Forests and Grasslands.

As the nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, we work with the agency and thousands of Americans each year to promote the health and public enjoyment of our 193-million-acre National Forest System. We believe that communities should play a leading role in determining the future of our National Forests and Grasslands, so we focus our efforts on connecting these communities, and the people who comprise them, to the tools, knowledge, and funding to become active and devoted stewards of this incredible public estate.

The challenges facing our National Forests and Grasslands are immense and complicated. But we believe that the power of communities and collaboration can, and will, prove capable of meeting these challenges. Our work these past decades has proven this true time and again.

We hope you’ll join us in fulfilling our mission to care for these treasured landscapes. We look forward to a future where all Americans know and care about our National Forests and Grasslands.

Learn more about the dedicated people responsible for the National Forest Foundation by visiting the Board of Directors, National Forest Leadership Council, and Staff pages of this site.

National Forest Foundation Mission

The National Forest Foundation, chartered by Congress, engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests.

National Forest Foundation Core Values

Our National Forests and Grasslands are at the core of America's natural riches, and yet, today these treasures are threatened by unprecedented challenges. Working with the U.S. Forest Service and partners, our goal is to leverage our best thinking, conservation capacity, and community action to measurably improve the health of our National Forests and Grasslands.

Stewarding our National Forests and Grasslands is a complex venture. These lands are often the center of controversy over both management objectives and practice. When people with conflicting views sit down together and work toward a zone of agreement, their joint commitment to the land leads to more creative and lasting restoration and stewardship strategies. We encourage and support collaborative processes and strive to improve the relationships between communities and the Forest Service.

Restoration blends an understanding of historical natural conditions with science and the need to adapt for our changing future. To ensure that our forests, watersheds and habitats can persist and are resilient through diverse impacts over time, effective restoration also demands that we care for the whole system. We believe in the power of on-the-ground conservation efforts to restore our National Forests and Grasslands, acre by acre and stream by stream. The most sustainable strategies involve people who make their living from the land as well as those who advocate for its protection.

Our National Forests and Grasslands are the people's lands. Now and in the future, these lands depend on enduring public trust and engagement. As we pursue our mission, we reach out to communities, individuals and partners, to create ownership and support collective efforts that preserve and embrace these national treasures. People who have spent time by their favorite creek, explored a new trail, or spent a Saturday pulling weeds or cleaning a campsite, understand that our forests are fundamental to our national identity and are a legacy we must pass on to future generations.

We believe in the importance of investing in the strength of communities of interest and of place, helping people to convert their passion for forests into meaningful and sustainable conservation solutions and actions. We value collaborative community organizations and recognize that building their capacity is key to maintaining their engagement and stewardship of National Forests and Grasslands. In addition, we believe that lasting impact is achieved when creative solutions target ecological, economic and community objectives.

As a key nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, the NFF is the only conservation organization solely focused on our National Forests. We don't duplicate the responsibilities of this important federal agency; rather, we complement its daily work beyond the status quo. We take advantage of our ability to respond in a timely and flexible manner, filling the conservation and stewardship gaps across our treasured forests and grasslands.