United States National Forest
A National Forest ( German National Forest ) is in the United States of America a forested area under the control of the federal government, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. National Forests are commercially used for timber, but have mostly also scenically attractive parts that serve as human recreation. The Forestry Commission promotes its activity with the phrase "Land of Many Uses" (, Diverse used land ').
The National Forest System is based on a law passed in 1891, and resulted from an initiative of businessmen and landowners in the Los Angeles area who were concerned about the damage caused in the catchment area of the San Gabriel Mountains by rancher. Today there are in the United States 155 National Forests, which comprise a total of about 769,000 km ² of land and thus are larger than Germany, Poland and Austria together. The majority of them located in the western part of the United States, where in particular Colorado, Idaho, Montana and California have very high proportions. Only about 13 percent of the National Forests are located east of the Mississippi River. Largest National Forests is about 69,000 km ² of the Tongass in Alaska.
Not all National Forests include original forests. Those east of the Great Plains often required afforestation of land that has long been privately owned and were purchased by the U.S. government to the new construction of a National Forest. On maps its dimensions are sometimes portrayed very inaccurately by only the outer limits of the acquired territory are presented. The land actually used is much smaller in many cases. The forests west of the Plains on the other hand are usually depicted with their exact boundaries.
National Forests are enjoying great popularity with nature lovers and secret of those who seek in the high season away from overcrowded national parks and recreation while offering an impressive forest and mountain landscapes. Many of these protected areas range closer to the attractiveness of national parks, but in addition allow free use in most cases the free camping.
List of National Forests
In the following list are National Forests, which cover the territory of several states, listed in each of these states, so that duplicates may occur. It does not include former national forests that were resolved in the course of reorganization of forest administration, converted into other protection categories, divided or merged with other areas.
There are in most U.S. states, at least one National Forest, with the exception of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Jersey and Rhode Iceland. Another National Forest is located in the U.S. foreign territory Puerto Rico.
Maps of National Forests west of the Great Plains generally show the actual limits, while those east of the Great Plains generally only the districts with territory acquisitions show, of which only a small percentage actually designated as national forest. As of September 30, 2007 780,090.96 km ² of land from the United States Forest Service were managed. The vast majority is either recognized as National Forest ( 97.2 %) or National Grassland (2.0 %). There are a small number of other categories of areas, mainly buying land and land used for research institutions, also a National Preserve ( the Valles Caldera in New Mexico).