Forest Service Organic Legislation, §1
Official Citation
16 U.S.C. §§473-78, 479-82, 551
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Statute Outline

No national forest shall be established except to improve and protect the forest within its boundaries, or to secure favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use of the people of the United States. [16 U.S.C. §475]

The Secretary of Agriculture may permit settlers, miners, and prospectors to use timber and stone found in the national forests free of charge. [16 U.S.C. §477] Settlers living in or near a national forest may maintain schools and churches in such forest. [16 U.S.C. §479]

Section 1 of the Forest Service Organic Legislation does not prohibit any person from entering a national forest to prospect, locate, and develop mineral resources, subject to the rules and regulations covering national forests. [16 U.S.C. §478]

The state in which a national forest is located has civil and criminal jurisdiction over persons within forest boundaries, except for offenses against the United States. [16 U.S.C. §480]

All waters within the national forests may be used for domestic, mining, milling, or irrigation purposes, under the laws of the state where the waters are located or under federal laws and regulations. [16 U.S.C. §481]

On the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, any public lands within a national forest that are better suited for mining or agriculture than for forest usage may be restored to the public domain. [16 U.S.C. §482]

Mineral lands in any national forest subject to entry under existing mining laws shall continue to be subject to location and entry. [16 U.S.C. §482]

The Secretary of Agriculture may promulgate regulations to govern the use and occupancy of the national forests and to preserve them from destruction. [16 U.S.C. §551]

The President of the United States may revoke or modify orders issued under 16 U.S.C. §471 that established national forests. [16 U.S.C. §473]