36 CFR § 251.23 - Experimental areas and research natural areas.
The Chief of the Forest Service shall establish and permanently record a series of areas on National Forest land to be known as experimental forests or experimental ranges, sufficient in number and size to provide adequately for the research necessary to serve as a basis for the management of forest and range land in each forest region. Also, when appropriate, the Chief shall establish a series of research natural areas, sufficient in number and size to illustrate adequately or typify for research or educational purposes, the important forest and range types in each forest region, as well as other plant communities that have special or unique characteristics of scientific interest and importance. Research Natural Areas will be retained in a virgin or unmodified condition except where measures are required to maintain a plant community which the area is intended to represent. Within areas designated by this regulation, occupancy under a special-use permit shall not be allowed, nor the construction of permanent improvements permitted except improvements required in connection with their experimental use, unless authorized by the Chief of the Forest Service.