The U.S. National Forest System has a record of the national forests by acreage and square miles. National forests are like separate entities which the Forest Service manages. Forests cover about 190 million acres land.
Below are some of the largest national forests:
The Tongass National Forest
The Tongass National Forest located in Alaska and is the principal national forest in the United States. This forest sits on approximately 17 million acres of land. It is a rain forest that is part of the Pacific temperate rain forests.
The Tongass has countless indigenous speciesof flora and fauna that are now facing extinction. This forest is also under the care of the U.S. Forest Service. It has islands such as the fjords and glaciers, Alexander Archipelago and the Coast Mountains.
The Tongass further defines the border with Canada. Moreover, it houses 75,000 individuals from 31 communities.
The Chugach National Forest
The Chugach National Forest covers about 6 million acres and is situated in Alaska. This forest has been in existence since 1907 and covers parts of Prince William Sound, the Copper River Delta and the Kenai Peninsula.
The Chugach National Forest has far-reaching rivers, shorelines and glaciers. There are no roads or rails in this forest. It is a habitat for mammals, birds and marine species. You will find tourists, and extraction of oil and gas in this forest.The Chugach is also the second largest forest and about 30 percent of it has ice.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is a prime national forest in the United States. This forest is in Nevada and part of Eastern California. It tops the largest national forest outside of Alaska.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe has huge but separate portions of land. Part of it sits in Nevada while the other section in eastern California. It has 10 ranger district offices, and spreads across Santa Rosa Range, Bridgeport and Markleeville. It covers six counties in California and 13 counties in Nevada.
The forest headquarters are in Sparks, Nevada. There are also local ranger offices in Ely, Elko, Wells, and Winnemucca. The counties that have the largest forest chunks include Nye, Elko, White Pine and Mono County.
Tonto National Forest
Tonto National Forest is under the U.S. Forest Service. This forest covers about 3 million acres and is the largest in Arizona. It has assorted views that range from altitudes of 1,400 feet to 7,400 feet above sea level. It is an urban forest that attracts a number of tourists.
The Phoenix metropolitan area defines it south border, the Mogollon Rim the north, and San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservation the east. Its head office is in Phoenix. There are other ranger district offices in Scottsdale, Globe, Payson, Mesa, Roosevelt and Young.
Gila National Forest along New Mexico Route 180
The Gila National Forest is under the management of New Mexico. It has existed since 1905 and sits on about 2.7 million acres. It is among the largest national forests in the United States. An additional part of the forest came to life in 1924 as a designated reservation.
The Gila forest lies in northern Grant, southern Catron, western Sierra and extreme north-eastern Hidalgo counties in New Mexico. The main office of the forest is in Silver City, New Mexico. There are also ranger offices in Mimbres, Glenwood, Quemado, Reserve and Silver City. The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument further sitsin this forest.
The forest topography varies. In some forests, you will find rugged mountains, rocks, deep canyons and even a semi-desert. There is encroachment in some forests that makes the area non-contiguous while some forest land is too rugged for encroachment. You may also find hot-springs and rivers in the forest.