Federal forests in Idaho

Managed by federal agencies 

Federal forests are owned by the people of the United States and managed for the benefit of the general public by specific agencies through the US Department of Agriculture (US Forest Service) and US Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management - BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.) These often-large blocks of public forestland are managed for a variety of uses.  Management activities must comply with a host of federal laws and regulations and are influenced by public input.


National System of Public Lands badge - U.S. Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land ManagementU.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service badge







National forests

Idaho’s seven national forests account for nearly 40% of Idaho’s land mass, a higher percentage than in any other state! Of the 20.5 million acres of national forests in the state, 16.3 million are designated as forestland and 11.9 million as timberland. Four million acres of Idaho’s national forests are federally designated as wilderness and off-limits for timber harvesting and motorized recreation.  Another 8.4 million acres are currently undeveloped and without road access.    

FOREST FACT: Not all national forests are forests!  Of the 20.4 million acres of National Forests managed by the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho, nearly 80% or 16.3 million acres are forested.

FOREST FACT: While most federal forests in Idaho are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, 900,000 acres of Idaho forests are managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

National forests in Idaho

Click the map to view the national forests that are in Idaho.U.S. Forest Service map of Idaho

Who runs the US Forest Service?

The diagram explains who runs the USFS.  Under the President of the United States, the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources and Environment department oversees the USFS, which is headquartered in Washington DC. The chief of the USFS oversees regional foresters, who oversee national forest supervisors, who oversee ranger districts and district rangers.Who Runs the Forest Service

What is the management process for the national forests?

Click the image to learn about the lengthy process for managing national forests. 

The Forest Management Process

(Click image for full size)


Want to contact one of Idaho's national forest offices?

Click here to find contact information for city, state and federal forestry and land management officials.


To learn more about the state and federal agencies responsible for managing and overseeing forests, click here. 

To learn more about national forests in the north Idaho panhandle click here.

To learn more about national forests in the intermountain region of Idaho click here

Click here to read our Critical Choices for OUR Forest brochure.