Office of Communications
July 10, 2023
A couple of backpackers stop to take in the view on their way to Alpine Lake in Redfish Lake Canyon in the Sawtooth National Forest. (USDA Forest Service photo by Nate Lowe)
When was the last time you felt truly present in the moment?
Rafters on the Bridger-Teton National Forest East of Alpine, Wyoming.& (USDA Forest Service photo by Nate Lowe)
No notifications. No emails. No to-do lists, errands to run, or chores to complete. Just you, the people you are with, and the sights, scents, and songs of the world around you.
Hold that moment in your head. Where are you?
For so many of us, these moments are found in forests. From their towering trees to sweeping vistas and majestic waterfalls, these places remind us to enjoy the moment that we are in.
And yet, these places can feel disconnected from our daily lives. It can be hard to find time to get away, and when we do, the forest can feel like a separate world, detached from the places where we live and work.
The National Forest Foundation (NFF), the U.S. Forest Service’s congressionally chartered non-profit partner, has made it their mission to let people know how interconnected the health of our communities and National Forests are. National Forests:
- Improve air quality by absorbing harmful pollutants,
- Purify and provide water for more than 3,000 communities across the United States,
- Mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide,
- Provide important natural resources for industry and communities, and
- Support the local economies of gateway communities.
Youth crew members sit around a fire playing cards after a long day working with the Forest Service hydrology crew. (USDA Forest Service photo by Kelly Martin)
Each year during the second full week of July, the NFF hosts National Forest WeekTM to raise awareness of the incredible 193-million-acre National Forest System and the benefits it provides.
This year’s theme, Forest Mode, encourages us to think about how we make the shift between the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to being present in the moment. What does it look like to be aware of the benefits that forests provide, even when we can’t be there ourselves? How can we savor the moment we are in?
This National Forest WeekTM, find your Forest Mode. Let yourself discover the juicy delight of finding wild huckleberries on the side of the trail, the simple joy of wading in a creek on a hot summer day, or the wonder of stargazing long after your campfire has died.