Celebrate National Forest Week

Celebrate National Forest Week

Welcome, fellow nature enthusiasts! It's time to gear up for National Forest Week, a yearly celebration during the second full week of July. The United States boasts 193 million acres of stunning wildlands managed by the USDA Forest Service. These spaces are vital to our lives and the environment. 

Our country's National Forests and Grasslands span 193 million acres, from Alaska’s snow-capped peaks to Florida’s lush longleaf pine forests. Red rock deserts, sprawling grasslands, hardwood forests, and fascinating history await you when you visit these places. They offer rest, rejuvenation, and adventure, filling us with awe for the natural world.

Every July, the National Forest Foundation celebrates the ways National Forests and Grasslands care for and inspire us during National Forest Week™. This year, we challenge you to find your AWEsome on a National Forest or Grassland. Whether it's a thrilling whitewater adventure or a quiet evening by the campfire, there are countless ways to experience the wonder of these incredible public lands.

Why National Forests Matter

Our National Forests aren't just pretty to look at—they're crucial for our economy, our communities, and our way of life. Here's why:

  • A Boost for the Economy: These beautiful lands host over 170 million visits each year, injecting a whopping $13.5 billion into our economy. Not to mention, they sustain nearly 223,000 jobs in gateway communities.
  • Natural Resource Provider: From timber, minerals, oil, and gas, our National Forests provide invaluable resources for industries and communities.
  • Climate Change Warriors: These vast green spaces help clean our air, store carbon, and play a critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • Water Supplier: Millions of Americans in thousands of communities rely on these lands for water.

How to Celebrate National Forest Week

There are countless ways to celebrate National Forest Week. Remember, it's all about appreciating these incredible natural spaces and doing our part to ensure their continued health and vibrancy. Here's how you can get involved:

  • Visit a National Forest Forest Near You. Did you know 7 in 10 Americans are within a 2-hour drive of a National Forest or Grassland? Find a forest near you.
  • Support the National Forest Foundation (NFF): The NFF is the U.S. Forest Service's non-profit partner. They work tirelessly to raise awareness about the interconnectedness of our communities and National Forests.
  • Take a kid camping: Pass on your love for the outdoors to the next generation.
  • Volunteer with a local group: Giving back has never felt so good.
  • Hike a new trail: There's always something new to discover!

This National Forest Week, let's take a moment to appreciate the immense value these lands provide us. As we explore new trails, enjoy camping trips, or simply admire a beautiful scenic view, let's all commit to embracing our Forest Mode and playing our part in preserving these invaluable spaces for generations to come.

Rob Decker is a photographer and graphic artist who had the rare privilege of studying under Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park when he was just 19 years old. Now, Rob is on a journey to explore and photograph all 63 of America’s National Parks. He’s creating WPA-style posters to help people celebrate their own national park adventures — as well as encourage others to get out and explore!

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