Sawtooth National Forest
Forest Overview
The Sawtooth National Forest encompasses 2.1 million acres of some of the nation's most magnificent country. Managed and protected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, the Sawtooth National Forest is a working, producing Forest that has been providing goods and services to the American people since its establishment in 1905.

The Forest is primarily located in the central heart of Idaho. There is one unit in northern Utah, four units south of the Snake River with the remainder of the units located east and west of Bellevue, Idaho all the way north to Stanley and the Salmon River. The Forest is divided into five management units. These units include the Twin Falls, Burley, Ketchum, Fairfield Ranger Districts and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Heritage Resources
The Sawtooth National Forest is managed for multiple benefits. Professional management insures adequate yields of high quality water and continuing soil productivity. Cattle and sheep grazed on this National Forest produce more than 6,300 tons of red meat annually. The Forest provides homes for more than 220 species of birds, 78 different mammals, 28 species of reptiles and amphibians and 25 species of cold water fish. Trees here not only provide homes for wildlife and a pleasant visual backdrop for residents and visitors, but also contribute to the nation's need for wood products. Each year trees are harvested for firewood, posts, poles, house logs, sawtimber, landscaping and Christmas trees.

Throughout the Forest, a wide variety of opportunities exist from very primitive to highly developed recreation sites. During the popular recreation seasons, the Forest publishes a weekly recreation report that provides current information regarding campgrounds, roads and trails and various recreation activities. The season of the year makes no difference as the Sawtooth is a "Forest For All Seasons." Wintertime offers outstanding wintertime recreation experiences for cross-country skiing on both groomed and ungroomed trails. Downhill skiing is offered at four developed winter sports areas that provide some of the finest terrain and snow conditions found anywhere. Snowmobiling is popular with marked and groomed trails and warming huts available. Springtime visitors are rewarded with snow-capped mountain peaks, rushing streams and meadows carpeted with hundreds of varieties of wildflowers. Summer visitors have more than 86 developed camping and picnic areas at their disposal. High quality summer recreation opportunities include swimming, fishing, scenic driving, camping, picnicking, backpacking, photography, horseback riding and so on. Trail bike riding and two and four-wheel drive vehicle opportunities occur in many areas of the Forest. Visitor activities such as guided hikes, campfire programs, auto tours, and exhibits are provided throughout the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Fall brings a very pleasant change to the Sawtooth. Spectacular color displays occur in areas where aspen, cottonwood, and willow trees abound. During this season the number of visitors drops off, leaving visitors with unlimited opportunities to really "get away from it all." The Sawtooth offers outstanding opportunities for hunting and fishing. These activities are regulated by the State of Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Written and compiled by Jacqueline Harvey 1999.
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