National Forest Foundation launches “National Forest Week,” Invites All Americans to Celebrate Their National Forests and Grasslands
July 8, 2019 — Washington, D.C. — Seven in ten Americans live within a two-hour drive of a National Forest. And yet, most Americans are not aware of this incredible resource. That’s why today, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) is announcing this week as the first annual “National Forest Week,” with the goal of spreading awareness about this uniquely American resource. The NFF is hosting celebration events all week across the country.
Our National Forests and Grasslands are a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people and managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture.
One hundred forty five National Forests, 20 National Grasslands and one National Tallgrass Prairie comprise 193 million acres of public land. These lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. These special places exist in 43 states across the country. Almost 60 forests are located near large urban areas that have populations of at least one million people. Our National Forests host 170 million visits every year. Recreational visitor spending alone pumps $13.5 billion into our economy annually, sustaining nearly 223,000 jobs in gateway communities. These lands are the foundation of America’s outdoor recreation heritage and sustain our way of life. They provide: water to millions Americans in thousands of communities; clean our air; store carbon; incredible wildlife habitat; hunting and fishing access; timber, minerals, oil and gas; and so much more for our communities and the nation.
There has never been more at stake for the National Forests and public lands than there is today. Across the country, wildfires, declining ecosystem health and dwindling budgets threaten our National Forests. To address these critical issues, the National Forest Foundation invests millions of dollars annually on tangible projects that improve these critical public lands. To engage every American in this work, the NFF kicks off this celebration to raise awareness of the forests’ incredible values to the American public.
“Today, I am proud to announce the launch of National Forest Week, July 8 through July 14, 2019. This week creates a dedicated moment to celebrate one of our greatest national treasures, this year and every year hereafter. I invite you to play in America’s backyard and discover your National Forest. Join me in kicking off National Forest week.”-Mary Mitsos, President and CEO, National Forest Foundation
As America’s playground, National Forests give people access to more choices and more freedom to reach beyond boundaries to endless activities and destinations. A place for all people to awaken their spirit of adventure, to break free and run wild. It’s a place inspiring all people to connect their hearts with the rhythm of the land. Without these lands, America would be a very different place.
There are many ways to celebrate our National Forests this week:
- Share your National Forest experiences and why they are important to you using the hashtag #NationalForestWeek and #ItsAllYours on social media.
- Submit a National Forest photo to the NFF National Forest Week photo contest for a chance to win sweet prizes including custom framing and an America the Beautiful Pass.
- Visit a National Forest near you! From hiking to paddling, July is a great time to experience all that our National Forests have to offer. Find a forest.
- Join the NFF these special events
- Launch Celebration-Wednesday, July 10th, 5pm, REI Flagship, Washington, D.C.
- Volunteer- Saturday, July 13th and Sunday, July 14th, Find Your 14’er: Grays & Torrey’s, Georgetown, CO Register here: https://www.wlrv.org/volunteer/
- Release Party: Eagle Creek 2017 Smokey Pinot Noir Wine Tour-Saturday, July 13th, Hood River, OR Tickets here: Release Party Details
- Visit http://www.nationalforests.org to learn more about our National Forest Week celebration, these impressive public lands, and how you can support our forests.
About the National Forest Foundation
The National Forest Foundation promotes the enhancement and public enjoyment of our 193-million-acre National Forest System. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF improves forest health and Americans’ outdoor experiences. The NFF’s programs inform millions of Americans about the importance of these treasured public lands. Each year, the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, improves recreational opportunities, and enables communities to steward their National Forests and Grasslands. Learn more at https://nationalforests.org/NFweek.