Celebrate National Forest Week: Embrace Your Forest Mode

Celebrate National Forest Week: Embrace Your Forest Mode

Welcome, fellow nature enthusiasts! It's time to gear up for National Forest Week, a yearly celebration taking place during the second full week of July. The United States is home to 193 million acres of stunning wildlands, all managed by the USDA Forest Service. These spaces aren't just for show, they play an essential role in our lives and our environment. This year, we're invited to discover what Forest Mode looks like in our lives. Let's dive in!

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.

This Year's Theme: Forest Mode

This year, National Forest Week invites us to contemplate what "Forest Mode" means for each of us. It's all about embracing the moment, disconnecting from the digital world, and immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds, and scents of nature.

Your Forest Mode might look like:

  • A peaceful evening by the campfire
  • A challenging trek on backcountry trails
  • Simply enjoying the juicy delight of finding wild huckleberries on the side of the trail

Whatever it is, make sure to #RecreateResponsibly to keep these lands healthy for future generations!

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:

  • 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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