Tahoe National Forest has many natural and man-made resources for the enjoyment of its visitors, including hundreds of lakes and reservoirs, river canyons carved through granite bedrock, and many miles of trails including a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.
The forest also serves as the water supply headwaters for the towns of Lincoln, Auburn and Rocklin, California, which receive the water through an elaborate canal system that largely originated during the California Gold Rush era.
President Theodore Roosevelt supported the transfer of forest reserves from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service in 1905, with Gifford Pinchot as Chief Forester. Thus began the United States National Forest System.
In 1908, the Sierra National Forest was divided into five units and as time went on, more divisions, additions, and combinations were worked out so that presently, Tahoe is one of eight national forests along the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. (They are, from north to south, Plumas, Tahoe, Eldorado, Toiyabe, Stanislaus, Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia.)
The charter given by James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture states: The National Forests are for the purpose of preserving a perpetual supply of timber for home industries, preventing a destruction of forest cover which regulates the flow of streams, and protecting local residents from unfair competition in the use of forest and range. The timber,water, pasture and mineral resources of the national forests arefor the use of the people.+
Tahoe was originally established as the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve on April 13, 1899. The name was changed to Tahoe on October 3, 1905.