Forest Service Mission
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity,
and productivity of the Nation’s forests and
grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”
We express our mission as, “Caring for the land and serving people.”
Fire management is central to meeting the Forest Service mission. Fire
management is holistic and we believe that fire can be both beneficial
Fire is a natural process that has profoundly shaped the landscape and
is vital to restoring and maintaining ecosystem health. We will take initiative
to enable fire to play its natural role where appropriate.
Like wind and water, fire also can be destructive and can be a formidable
threat to critical ecosystem components, human life, and communities –
such instances require decisive and creative action on the part of the
Forest Service to protect values both within and adjacent to National
Forest system lands.
When it’s time to fight fire, we will do so with maximum efficiency
and the highest regard for safety, operating in and occupying that critical
ground between risk aversion and unacceptable risk. Our
intent is to protect life, property, and at-risk lands and resources.
We expect creative and decisive action and directly support our people
on the ground. We grow and adapt while preparing for and learning from
the chaotic and ever-changing operating environment.
Every Forest Service employee will support fire suppression emergencies.
The Forest Service’s greatest asset is our people and their knowledge,
skills, and initiative working within our highly adaptive organizational
approach. In emergency situations, we effectively mobilize a professionally
trained, highly efficient workforce able to bring order to chaos. We will
manage incidents as effectively, responsively, and efficiently as possible,
providing the American public with the best value for their investment.
Other Emergency Response
While the primary responsibility of our fire suppression force is wildland
fire suppression, we will support national emergency situations when asked
We also will respond when human life is immediately at risk, or there
is another clear emergency, and the responders consider themselves capable
of assisting without undue risk to themselves or others.
In responding to emergencies, we will bring the same highly adaptive
organizational approach, professionalism, and passion for safety to these
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