Environment

National Forests in the Western United States

The 13 western US states contain 84 US National Forests.

The western United States contains thirteen states that have a combined total of 84 regions designated as US National Forests. All forests are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yellowstone Park Timber and Land Reserve was the first to be established as a National Forest in 1891.

National Forests in the Western United States

The U.S. state of Alaska has the most National Forest coverage in the country, with about 21.9 million acres. California has the second most, with about 20.8 million acres, and Idaho ranks a close third, with approximately 20.4 million acres of National Forests. In terms of the percentage of a state’s land covered by National Forests, Idaho ranks first, followed by Oregon and Colorado, with 38.2%, 24.7%, and 20.9% coverage, respectively.

Despite the total area of National Forests in Alaska, the state only contains two forests. However, both forests, Tongass National Forest and Chugach National Forest, are large in size. Tongass is the biggest National Forest in the United States, with an area of about 16,748,360 acres, while Chugach is third largest in the country, with an area 5,419,095 acres.

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in California covers an area of 6,290,945 acres and is the second largest National Forest in the United States. However, Alaska's Tongass is nearly three times as large. Salmon-Challis National Forest (4,226,973 acres) in Idaho is the fourth largest, while Bridger-Teton National Forest (3,383,302 acres) in Wyoming is the fifth largest National Forest. Based on these figures, it is clear that the western side of the United States has larger National Forests than the eastern side of the country.

The state of California has the highest number of National Forests in the western United States. California has a total of 20 National Forests, followed by Idaho, with a total of 13 forests. Oregon and Colorado each have 12 forests. South Dakota and Montana have the fewest number of National Forests in the western United States, with one forest each.

Conclusion

In total, the United States has 154 protected zones that have been categorized as National Forests. The western side has more than half of these forests (84), while the remainder are located in the east. With the exception of ten states, every state in the US has at least one National Forest.

National Forests in the Western United States

RankUS National ForestState(s)
1Bridger-TetonWyoming
2ShoshoneWyoming
3BighornWyoming
4GallatinMontana
5Beaverhead-DeerlodgeMontana
6HelenaMontana
7Lewis and ClarkMontana
8LoloMontana
9FlatheadMontana
10BitterrootMontana, Idaho
11KootenaiMontana, Idaho
12CusterMontana, South Dakota
13BoiseIdaho
14PayetteIdaho
15Salmon-ChallisIdaho
16Nez PerceIdaho
17ClearwaterIdaho
18Idaho PanhandleIdaho, Montana, Washington
19SawtoothIdaho, Utah
20Caribou-TargheeIdaho, Wyoming
21LincolnNew Mexico
22GilaNew Mexico
23CibolaNew Mexico
24Santa FeNew Mexico
25CarsonNew Mexico
26DixieUtah
27FishlakeUtah
28Manti-La SalUtah, Colorado
29AshleyUtah, Wyoming
30Uinta-Wasatch-CacheUtah, (Wyoming, Idaho
31TontoArizona
32PrescottArizona
33CoconinoArizona
34KaibabArizona
35CoronadoArizona, New Mexico
36Apache-SitgreavesArizona, New Mexico
37Humboldt-ToiyabeNevada, California
38San JuanColorado
39Rio GrandeColorado
40UncompahgreColorado
41San IsabelColorado
42GunnisonColorado
43Grand MesaColorado
44PikeColorado
45White RiverColorado
46ArapahoColorado
47RooseveltColorado
48Medicine Bow – RouttColorado, Wyoming
49Fremont-WinemaOregon
50UmpquaOregon
51DeschutesOregon
52WillametteOregon
53MalheurOregon
54OchocoOregon
55SiuslawOregon
56Mount HoodOregon
57Rogue River-SiskiyouOregon, California
58Wallowa-WhitmanOregon, Idaho
59UmatillaOregon, Washington
60TongassAlaska
61ChugachAlaska
62ClevelandCalifornia
63San BernardinoCalifornia
64AngelesCalifornia
65Los PadresCalifornia
66SequoiaCalifornia
67SierraCalifornia
68StanislausCalifornia
69EldoradoCalifornia
70TahoeCalifornia
71MendocinoCalifornia
72PlumasCalifornia
73LassenCalifornia
74Six RiversCalifornia
75Shasta-TrinityCalifornia
76ModocCalifornia
77InyoCalifornia, Nevada
78Lake Tahoe Basin Management UnitCalifornia, Nevada
79KlamathCalifornia, Oregon
80Gifford PinchotWashington
81OlympicWashington
82Mount Baker-SnoqualmieWashington
83ColvilleWashington
84Okanogan-WenatcheeWashington

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