In “caring for the land, and serving people,” as the U.S. Forest Service motto states, you’re sure to make a difference for your country—whether you want to fight fires, work on climate change or pursue other interests.

 

Climate change

The Forest Service is actively addressing the impact of climate change. Efforts you might work on to protect public land from the threats posed by carbon emissions include:

  • Putting practices in place to manage risk and adapt to climate change.
  • Assessing the potential impact of climate change on national forests and other resources.
  • Practicing “carbon stewardship” by researching and tracking carbon levels in forests and grasslands, and promoting practices to manage carbon.
  • Using the latest climate data, information and tools as the agency crafts climate policy.
  • Promoting practices for sustaining national forests and grasslands, such as net-zero waste initiatives and changing the agency’s fleet to electric vehicles.

Wildfire management

“Only you can prevent forest fires.”

For 80 years, Smokey Bear, the Forest Service’s most well-known icon, has been spreading this message.

Wildland firefighters help save lives and protect communities, infrastructure, and private, public, and tribal lands from wildfires.

As a Forest Service employee, you might work to lower the wildfire risk, for example, by joining teams that conduct controlled burns and work with communities to raise awareness about fire prevention.

Or you might help the agency with its crucial role in shaping policies and practices for wildfire resilience, to protect lives, property and ecosystems. Advanced technology and a network of fire management professionals help the agency detect and quickly respond to wildfires.

Urban forestry

Many people picture a forest as deep woods without a building in sight. However, trees play a vital role in the urban areas, too, where 83% of the public lives. Trees in urban areas create pleasant, attractive and calming environments. And, in an era of extreme heat and pollution, they offer shade and improve air quality.

The Forest Service recognizes the importance of trees and green spaces in urban environments. Your Forest Service job could involve disbursing some of the more than $1 billion in grants to promote sustainable practices. These funds go to nonprofit organizations, schools, local governments, tribal nations and others to plant and manage trees, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Tribal collaboration

It’s also important to the Forest Service to work with tribal nations to manage public lands, especially lands that have cultural and historical significance to indigenous communities. Maybe you’ll work on the team that consults with tribal governments on traditional practices, incorporating the information learned into the agency’s management decisions.

Recreation

Our nation’s forests and grasslands are open to visitors so they can hike, camp, fish, view wildlife and more. You might enjoy helping the agency develop and maintain trails, campgrounds and other outdoor amenities for the enjoyment of those visitors.

At the same time, the Forest Service makes every effort to reduce the impact on the environment and preserve the lands’ natural resources, and that’s another area where you can help—by contributing to the agency’s goal to keep public lands open to all, for generations to come.