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Birthday of the USDA Forest Service

February 1, 2023

U.S. Forest Service was founded on February 1, 1905.

The national forests (first called Forest Reserves) began with the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, creating the U.S. Division of Forestry within the Department. of Interior (DOI). In 1901, it became the Bureau of Forestry. On February 1, 1905, it was transferred from DOI to the Department. of Agriculture, and the United States Forest Service (USFS) was born.

Under the direction of Chief Gifford Pinchot, the USFS and the national forests grew spectacularly from 60 reserve forest units covering 56 million acres in 1905, to 150 national forests covering 172 million acres in 1910. Pinchot famously summed up the mission of the Forest Service: “to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.”


February 1, 2023