US Forest Service Data

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National forests have GIS data available for download. A statement from region 6 (Pacific NW) http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/data-library/gis/disclaimers.shtml says that the data are public domain. There are some files very relevant to OSM (trails; recreation points listing campsites, docks etc) and some not so useful to the normal OSM reader (owl and fish habitats).

Downloadable nationwide Forest Service data are found at http://fsgeodata.fs.fed.us/vector/lsrs.php. Datasets can also be found here: https://enterprisecontentnew-usfs.hub.arcgis.com/. These links include boundary files for National Forest boundaries and inholdings, Wilderness Areas, National Grasslands, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and others.

Regions

This map shows the regions the US Forest Service is divided into.

Road data

U.S. Forest Service data can be used to improve the existing (TIGER-derived) OSM data in forest areas. Add this URL to your favourite editor:

You can browse the map at http://osm.cycle.travel/index.html . The following key is useful:

  • Surface: yellow outline = paved, grey outline = gravel
  • Road type: white with black casing = paved road, dashed grey = gravel road suitable for cars, dashed brown = dirt road, dotted grey = not maintained for cars
  • Maintenance level: grey dots = 4x4 only, green dots = usable by cars, black dots = moderately comfortable for cars, black frequent dots = very comfortable for cars
  • Points of interest: car = roadside park, flag = Forest Service station, ski = winter recreation area, hiker = trailhead, campsite = campsite, picnic site = picnic site

Tagging

National Forest Boundaries

National Forest Proclamation Boundaries are not the same as NF land. In many National Forests, some or most of the land inside the proclamation boundary is not owned by the USFS. Datasets titled "Surface Ownership Parcels" include all parcels within the proclamation boundaries ("detailed" datasets do not dissolve the parcels; the basic dataset is easier to deal with). Only use the polygons that are tagged as owned by USFS, not Non-FS.

At a basic level, National Forests could be mapped as the proclamation boundaries, but this is more of an administrative boundary rather than a protected area.

All National Forests should be constructed as relations.

Wilderness Boundaries

A wilderness (datasets titled "National Wilderness Area") is (usually? always?) a subset of a surrounding "parent" National Forest. In effect, a wilderness is both wilderness and national forest, the former a higher level of protection within the latter. It is not the same as USFS-owned land within the greater proclamation boundary.

Proposed tagging:

Priorities

A way to characterize a prioritized list of things to do in OSM for National Forests might be the following:

  1. Boundary data should be accurate and recent.
  2. Wilderness inholding data (if any) should be accurate and recent.
  3. Other (private) inholdings should be accurate and recent.
  4. NFs which are substantially or largely forested might realistically be set to landuse=forest. This is a good first step but it vastly preferable to map forest separately as it is a separate object.
  5. NFs which are not substantially or largely forested can have a landuse (or landcover, if it better emerges and/or is better supported in renderers) tag added to subset areas which accurately depict landuse within those subset areas.
  6. Trails, campgrounds, POIs, etc. should be updated to be accurate and recent.

National Forest Trails

See the Hiking page for general tags related to hiking trails.

Proposed specific tags:

  • route_owner = national_forest, private_on_nf, private_noton_nf, county, state, city_town
  • route_no
  • trail_no

Questions:

  • Is there a U.S. equivalent of the sac_scale=*?

See Also:

National Forests

Main article: US National Forests

Northern Region (R1)

  • Website [1]
  • Status: Working on a number of forest boundaries and wilderness areas in this region. Staging area on GitHub[2] --Kjordahl (talk) 20:27, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Rocky Mountain Region (R2)

  • Website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r2/landmanagement/gis (region-wide data as of 2016/1/22)
  • Status: Not sure how far AndyAyre got back in 2009. Wyoming is still missing many national forests
    • Black Hills: Looks complete to me.
    • Medicine Bow/Thunder Basin: Boundaries and wildernesses look complete to me, but private inholdings are missing.
    • Bighorn: Boundary looks complete, any private inholdings and Cloud Peak Wilderness are missing.
    • Shoshone: missing completely. [3]Zytsef (talk) 21:46, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Southwestern Region (R3)

Name Relation Status
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests relation 169768 Fix inholdings and wilderness areas

Wilderness areas should not be mapped as inner

Carson National Forest relation 171784 Some inholdings need to be added
Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands relation Cibola National Forest
relation Magdalena Ranger District (split between north, south and east)
relation Mountainair Ranger District (split between east and west)
relation Mt. Taylor Ranger District (split between east and west)
relation Sandia Ranger District (split between north and south)
relation Kiowa National Grassland
relation Rita Blanca National Grassland
relation Black Kettle National Grassland
The relation ways should probably have an outer role instead of a subarea role

Fix inholdings

Coconino National Forest relation 10956348 Finished

Adding trail relations --Pwhite119 (talk) 18:18, 17 April 2020 (UTC)

Coronado National Forest relation 166582 Fix inholdings and wilderness areas

Wilderness areas should not be mapped as inner

Gila National Forest relation 171010 Add inholdings
Kaibab National Forest relation 163123 Finished
Lincoln National Forest relation 171043 Add inholdings
Prescott National Forest relation 163124 Added (most) inholdings to western section.
Santa Fe National Forest relation 171053 Wilderness areas should not be mapped as inner, add inholdings
Tonto National Forest relation 169380 Add inholdings
  • Status:
    • Forest boundaries: finished (including grasslands and a national preserve)
    • Wilderness areas: finished
    • Trails:
      • Coronado National Forest: finished
      • [osm:relation/169768 Apache Sitgreaves National Forest]: finished Inholdings should not be part of relation as inner. This removes them from the NF.

--AndyAyre 19:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Intermountain Region (R4)

Pacific Southwest Region (R5)

Name Notes
relation Angeles National Forest
relation Cleveland National Forest
relation Eldorado National Forest
relation Inyo National Forest
relation Klamath National Forest need to fix inholdings, wilderness areas
relation Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
relation Lassen National Forest
relation Los Padres National Forest
relation Mendocino National Forest need to fix inholdings, wilderness areas
relation Modoc National Forest
relation Plumas National Forest
relation San Bernardino National Forest
relation Sequoia National Forest
relation Shasta National Forest
relation Trinity National Forest
need to fix inholdings, wilderness areas
relation Sierra National Forest
relation Six Rivers National Forest Forest
relation Stanislaus National Forest
relation Tahoe National Forest

Pacific Northwest Region (R6)

  • Crooked River National Grassland
    • Status: Grassland boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 17:24, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Deschutes National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 10:01, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Fremont-Winema National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 02:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest relation 1388493
  • Malheur National Forest
    • Status: Forest owned land boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 21:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest relation 1399218
  • Mt. Hood National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary & private land insets imported --Binary Alchemy 10:01, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Ochoco National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 17:24, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Olympic National Forest relation 163767 (Website)
    • Status:
      • Upload forest boundaries (done)
      • Began uploading Forest service trails --Tylerritchie 18:12, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 08:31, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Umatilla National Forest
    • Status: Forest owned land boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 21:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Umpqua National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 11:34, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Willamette National Forest
    • Status: Forest boundary & private land insets imported --Binary Alchemy 21:22, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Willowa-Whitman National Forest
    • Status: Forest owned land boundary imported --Binary Alchemy 21:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • TODO:
    • Oregon: Siuslaw
    • Washington: Wenatchee, Okanogan, Colville

Southern Region (R8)

  • George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
    • Website: [7]
    • Status: Working on uploading trails -- Spesh 14:44, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests
    • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 16 May 2014
  • Kisatche National Forest
    • Website: [8]
    • Status: Completed uploading park boundaries -- kepardue
  • National Forests in Alabama
    • Conecuh National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Talladega National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Tuskegee National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • William B. Bankhead National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
  • National Forests in Florida
    • Apalachicola National Forest
      • Status: Forest and wilderness boundaries imported --jrenglish 08 February 2014
    • Ocala National Forest
      • Status: Forest and wilderness boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Osceola National Forest
      • Status: Forest and wilderness boundaries imported --jrenglish 08 February 2014
  • National Forests in Mississippi
    • Bienville National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • De Soto National Forest
      • Status: Forest and wilderness boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Delta National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Homochitto National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Holly Springs National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
    • Tombigbee National Forest
      • Status: Forest boundaries imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014

Eastern Region (R9)

Name Features Status
Allegheny National Forest relation 9952215 Forest and wilderness boundary imported --jrenglish 09 February 2014
USFS-Lands complete, replacing proclamation boundary. --Pkoby (talk) 02:06, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest relation Great Divide District
relation Lakewood-Laona District
relation Medford District
relation Park Falls Landbase
relation Washburn District
These boundaries should probably be joined into one super-relation. Some of these may be from proclamation boundaries, not USFS lands.
Chippewa National Forest relation 4634099 This relation is one piece of many for this NF. They look to be derived from USFS lands, but should be part of a greater relation.
Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests relation 2030450
relation 1610352
node 356555374
Relation 2030450 looks like the proclamation boundary, 1610352 appears to be USFS land, and 356555374 seems to be deprecated by the others. The USFS website includes "Finger Lakes" in the name, and should be added to some or part of this.
Hiawatha National Forest relation 1976196
relation 1976195
node 353997930
The two relations look like USFS land, the node is a holdover.
Hoosier National Forest relation 9347186
relation 8334776
node 358679184
Relation 9347186 looks like the proclamation boundary, 8334776 seems like a disparate piece, and the node is a holdover.
Huron-Manistee National Forest relation Huron NF
relation Huron NF
way Huron NF
relation Manistee NF
node Manistee NF
Relations and way are proclamation boundaries. Node is redundant. All areas should be added to super-relation of Huron-Manistee NF (single administrative area).
Mark Twain National Forest
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Monongahela National Forest
Ottawa National Forest
Shawnee National Forest
Superior National Forest
Wayne National Forest relation 9951528 Complete, in three Unit relations, part of a super-relation. --Pkoby (talk) 22:02, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
White Mountain National Forest

Alaska Region (R10)

  • TODO:
    • Chugach, Tongass

Comments

I've added the tools and steps I am using at: Getting US Government Shapefiles Into OpenStreetMap.

(Above added by rpmik)

(Below added by user Stevea)

Using data at http://fsgeodata.fs.fed.us/vector/lsrs.php (noted at the top of this wiki page), I began uploading some of these data in late February 2013. My initial focus was on Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) on California's central coast, extending into the southern part of the state. First I added all of LPNF's ten wilderness areas. I next added multipolygons for LPNF itself (there are 26 total, including inner members). Of course, this required deleting (the often incorrect TIGER 2009) already-existing-in-OSM polygons for LPNF (and two of its ten wilderness areas), which was not easy. (DONE: February 22, 2013).

My plan is to add the other three National Forests in southern California: Angeles, Cleveland and San Bernardino, as well their wilderness areas. (DONE: February 27, 2013).

After central and southern California are done, completing the rest of USGS Region 5 (California) is next. The difficulty (as with many OSM imports) is to correctly delete the old USFS boundary data (if any), as they are several years old and in some cases wrong or missing with respect to inholdings and wilderness areas. Because the http://fsgeodata.fs.fed.us/vector/lsrs.php data are current (February 2013), and noting correct inholdings as extant with inner members of multipolygons, these data should supersede existing USFS boundary data (many of which do not contain any or correct wilderness boundaries as essential subset data). This import intends to update, include correct inholdings, getting both USFS and wilderness boundaries into OSM. So, it directly addresses rpmik's concerns above that northern California USFS boundaries (e.g. Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity, Klamath) are incorrect for inholdings and wilderness.

As of March 4, 2013, I reviewed a comparison of the recent federal data of Sequoia National Forest and a similar upload of June 2010 uploaded by nmixter. These have tags attribution=USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, USDA_region=05 id=12 (Sequoia, specifically) and source=www.fs.fed.us/r5/rsl/clearinghouse/gis-download.shtml but otherwise were so substantially close to identical that I left the June 2010 data intact. This makes me want to change my arbitrary geographic ordering from east to north, and skip ahead from Eastern California USFS forests (Sequoia, Inyo) directly to Northern Region 5 (Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Klamath...), as rpmik suggests.

The process I use includes open source tools to convert from USFS's shapefile-based NAD83 to WGS84 "native" .osm format, tips for editing the gigantic files (most data results are nationwide, and must be isolated to one forest or wilderness at a time, or JOSM may run out of memory), is ten steps long and documented. Contact me (Stevea) and I will be happy to send you this workflow.

Effective mid 2013, I will be pausing this import/upload to deal with some personal matters. I will update this page when I resume. (It is now late 2013, and I intend to get back to this project at some point. -- Stevea)

2014: an examination of landuse (forest) and natural (wood) tags on Region 5's National Forests (and a National Park or two) shows some inconsistencies. Sequoia NF now contains landuse=forest and Sequoia NP now does not. Tahoe NF is now set to landuse=forest where it was natural=wood. Other NFs (Klamath, Six Rivers, Trinity, Mendocino, Plumas, Tahoe, El Dorado, Stanislaus, Sierra) appear to be "correctly" set to landuse=forest, however Shasta NF is not. This may be because of the large (many dozens of square kilometers) presence of Mount Shasta, a volcano with glaciers, now characterized (within Tahoe NF itself) as an outer multipolygon of natural=fell with glaciers as inner members. It may be that OSM needs to better characterize distinctions between landuse and landcover to address such issues in National Forests, so the entire Tahoe NF multipolygon remains without a landuse tag. However, Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe appear to be more accurately tagged: while their multipolygon relations do not have a specific landuse tag (whether forest or another value), they also have additional subset areas within them more accurately tagged with natural=wood, which display as dark green in mapnik/Standard rendering. Strictly speaking, natural=wood is not correct and these should become landuse=forest (as they are within truly forest areas which could be timber-harvested). So, statewide (Region 5) review and correction continues, with the intention of the priorities listed above.

See also