Iconic Places of the US Forest Service

The Forest Service manages congressionally-designated areas and national monuments, protected either by Congress through legislation or by the President via proclamation under the authority of the Antiquities Act.  Congress has designated these areas unique for their special characteristics and the opportunities they offer. These places were protected in perpetuity for a range of ecological and social benefits such as scenic beauty, recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat and watershed protection, and the intent and management objectives for each are distinct and unique. 

This project takes a closer look at these "iconic places:"

  • reviewing the social, economic, and ecological benefits they provide,
  • examining common management challenges,
  • identifying opportunities, and
  • asking what information regions need to ensure the longevity of and benefits from these high profile areas that are valued by both visitors and communities.   


Working and Briefing Papers:

Working Paper: Iconic Places of the U.S. Forest Service: Values, Conditions, Challenges, and Opportunities

Briefing Paper: Iconic Places of the U.S. Forest Service: Conditions and Concerns

Fact Sheets:

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Browns Canyon National Monument

Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area


Iconic Places Book:

This book highlights all of the Forest Service-managed iconic places managed included in this research. A short description and background is included for each location, along with information on establishment, reasons designated, recreation uses, nearby population centers, visitor numbers, and maps showing locations both nationally and in the local landscape. 







Iconic Places in Region 1: Northern, Region 2: Rocky Mountain, and Region 3: Southwestern

Iconic Places in Region 4: Intermountain

Iconic Places in Region 5: Pacific Southwest

Iconic Places in Region 6: Pacific Northwest

Iconic Places in Region 8: Southern

Iconic Places in Region 9: Eastern

Iconic Places in Region 10: Alaska, and Nez Perce National Historic Trail (multiple regions)

Sources used and methods