Biggest United States National Forests

The United States has a number of large protected National Forests, many of which are west of the Mississippi. Here are some Biggest United States National Forests.

In 1876, the US Congress created an office to evaluate the conditions of forests in the US. In 1891, the newly designated national forests were given to the US Forest Service by President Theodore Roosevelt. The US Forest Service, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture, is in charge of managing the country’s 154 national forests. The combined land area of these United States National Forests is 188,336,179 acres. Except for ten states: Rhode Island, New Jersey, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, Iowa, Connecticut, Kansas, and Delaware, every state in the United States has at least one national forest.

united states national forests
united states national forests ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Largest National Forests in the US

Many of the vast US National Forests lie west of the Mississippi River. Tongass National Forest in Alaska tops the list, with the Pacific temperate rain forest covering the majority of its 17 million acres. Chugach National Forest in Alaska comes in second, with around 6.9 million acres of woods, rivers, and glaciers. The third is Humboldt-Toiyabe, which spans Nevada and California and includes 23 wilderness areas. Salmon-Challis, located in Idaho, is over 4.2 million acres and include the majority of the River of No Return Wilderness region and the Salmon River. Bridger-Teton National Park in Wyoming ranks fifth, with about 3.4 million acres comprised of three wilderness areas and the Green River. It is also home to 7 out of the 10 biggest glaciers in the world.

Significance of U.S. National Forests

These and other US National Forests, as well as any wilderness region, contribute to the well-being of a country and its people. Good forest management is linked to clean air, clean water, and rich soil. The success of national forests has an impact on the country’s economic development and tourist industry. These two industries are intertwined and provide several advantages to the economy. Recreation is the fastest expanding use of national forests, according to the US Forest Service. Rock climbing, bird viewing, fishing, hunting, and camping are just a few examples. This is thought to boost the national economy 38 times more than the logging business.

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Forests and Climate Change

Climate change is a severe danger to all national forests worldwide. The destruction and degradation of forests and wilderness areas as a result of deforestation and climate change may also have a significant impact on the world’s ecosystem’s climate regulation qualities such as watershed protection, wood and fuel delivery, carbon sequestration, temperature regulation, erosion reduction, countless species’ habitats, and flood control.

According to Forest Adaptation Resources, it is critical that these advantages are maintained at a high level, or else future costs will be borne in the form of ever-worsening natural disasters. Prioritizing activities is about lowering resource vulnerability by combining flexibility with fresh, research-based information. Resilience in the management of these ecosystems will aid in the prevention of ecological problems.

What is the Biggest National Forest in the United States?

The Tongass National Forest in Alaska is the country’s biggest national forest. It encompasses 17 million acres.

The Biggest National Forests In The United States

RankNational ForestStateArea (millions of acres)
3Humboldt-ToiyabeNevada, California6.7
7Mark TwainMissouri3
9Boise National ForestIdaho2.9
10Gila National ForestNew Mexico2.7

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