Haub School of Environment
and Natural Resources
University of Wyoming
Bim Kendall House
804 E Fremont St
Laramie, WY 82072
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Open space—forests, grasslands, farms, ranches, wetlands, riparian areas, and urban green space—provides vital ecosystem services and benefits for society. Each day 6,000 acres of open space in the United States are lost as more people choose to live at the urban fringe and in scenic, rural areas. Addressing the rapid loss of open space helps to fulfill the USFS mission, as development of open space affects land managers’ abilities to manage the national forests and grasslands and to help private landowners and communities sustainably manage lands and maintain ecosystem services.
The Forest Service works with partners to conserve open space across the country by managing 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands; conducting research and technological development; and providing technical, financial, and educational assistance to landowners and communities. The Forest Service’s role is not to regulate development or land use, but to work with states, communities, landowners, and others to strategically conserve open space across landscapes.
The Ruckelshaus Institute, established in 1994, is a model for advancing collaborative approaches to address environment and natural resource challenges. The Institute’s mission is to engage and educate students, stakeholders, and policymakers in interdisciplinary problem solving, collaborative decision-making, and leadership to promote understanding of often complex natural resource and environmental issues. It specializes in advancing understanding in the areas of land-use planning, conservation, energy and water issues, and wildlife management.
United States Forest Service and the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources. 2011. Private Lands and Conservation Toolkit. Laramie, Wyoming: University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources.