What is a National Forest?
In fact, National forests are certain areas which belong to all sections of the community of U.S.A. These forests are being managed and welt protected including the national grassland by the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which was constituted for this specific purpose.
Most of the people are under the impression that “forest” is synonymous to trees. It is an established fact that these forests have proved to be the major source of timber for their nation. But the scope and usefulness of these forests are not limited to this extent only. Most of these forests contain grazing lands which have a small number of trees. Selected portions of the national forest system have been set aside as wilderness areas. Furthermore, certain restrictions have been imposed with a view to safeguard the interest of the forests such as cutting of trees tantamount to legal offence, construction work cannot be undertaken in any manner whatsoever which may spoil the natural beauty and the scenery, machines are completely banned so as to avoid any sort of disturbance in general and to maintain peace in particular, at any cost.
It is estimated that not less than one-third of the wild animals and millions of smaller creatures of the country are living by making their homes in the national forests. Out of the total area of these forests, near about two million acres are exclusively covered with lakes. Skiing areas are used by winter-sports fans. Sufficient areas are well maintained in such a manner that more than three lakhs of persons can have a get together at one time and besides this there are 81000 miles of fishing streams.
Not less than one hundred million people pay visit to the national forests every year. In all 154 national forests and 19’national grasslands constitutes a total area of 186000,000 acres approx. Major portion of such lands has been occupied by the people at all times. A large portion of national forest land in the eastern United States was actually purchased by the Govt. for multipurpose such as to protect the watersheds of streams, to produce timber, to provide for recreation and to maintain its natural beauty and peace.
There is a lot of difference between National forests and national parks. The major difference between the two is that National parks have been kept aside to preserve a natural state and on the other hand in the case of national forests hunting, cutting of timber, removal of resources, installation of machinery to undertake a job of construction work which directly hits the natural beauty and peace is treated as violation of the rules and traditions of the land.