Forest Trail Explorer

US Forest Service and Southern Research Station

Learn About Nature

Western North Carolina is among the most unique and biodiverse regions in the United States. The National Forests in North Carolina encompass more than 1 million acres of land that is sustainably managed by the U.S. Forest Service to provide a wide variety of benefits, ranging from clean air and water, wildlife and fish habitat, recreational opportunities, forest products and much more.

The natural environment faces many challenges and threats to its sustainability and the way in which we currently use and enjoy the forest. Learning about the unique characteristics of the region will help to understand threats to the environment and how we can protect and enjoy the forests of Western North Carolina. A regional assessment called the Western North Carolina Vitality Index uses metrics to report on the unique aspects of the region’s natural environment. The report analyzes forest characteristics on private land as well as public land.

Also, the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program provides reports on the status of the Nation’s forests. Click on a topic below to find more information and resources and to learn about the forests of Western North Carolina and the services they provide.