USDA Forest Service

The national Forest Service is a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It manages the national forests of the United States — 191 million acres owned by the people of the USA. See:

The Colorado Trail runs through six national forests. From east to west, they are:

  • Pike National Forest *
  • White River National Forest
  • San Isabel National Forest *
  • Gunnison National Forest †
  • Rio Grande National Forest
  • San Juan National Forest

* The Pike and San Isabel are managed as one national forest, the Pike – San Isabel National Forest.
The Gunnison National Forest is part of the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre, and Gunnison National Forests unit.

The USDA Forest Service is the primary partner of the Colorado Trail Foundation. They “own” the trail and manage it. We help with the management, build public support, for the trail, and help people to use, appreciate, and enjoy it.

When the Forest Service makes decisions about management, they go through a public process. The Colorado Trail Foundation has often participated in these processes. See our page that describes our participation and positions about agency plans and projects.

See also our page that lists the national forests and their ranger districts, with contact information.