[Talk-us] misuse of the landuse=forest tag for national forests

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Sun May 12 21:34:36 UTC 2013

On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM, John F. Eldredge <john at jfeldredge.com>wrote:

> If you have an area that cannot grow trees, due to altitude, inadequate
> groundwater, or having exposed rock rather than soil (as with many
> mountaintops), then, in what sense is it a managed forest? I am not talking
> about areas that are temporarily treeless due to the trees having been
> harvested.

Here is an excerpt from USFS website "Congress established the Forest
Service in 1905 to provide quality water and timber for the Nation's
benefit. Over the years, the public has expanded the list of what they want
from national forests and grasslands. Congress responded by directing the
Forest Service to manage national forests for additional multiple uses and
benefits and for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water,
forage, wildlife, wood, and recreation. Multiple use means managing
resources under the best combination of uses to benefit the American people
while ensuring the productivity of the land and protecting the quality of
the environment."

I think it safe to say that National Forests include areas with no trees.

For administrative purposes and area is designated a National Forest. In
practice parts of the National Forest have no trees. Show nature=* make
sense if we want to show what occupies the land. National Forest boundaries
should be in OSM, but showing landcover is more interesting and it can be
surveyed by mappers.


OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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