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State Versus Federal Competence

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Public regulation of cutting on privately owned forest land is no longer debatable; only the means of effecting it are in question. Conspicuously absent thus far is any reference--such as this article supplies--to the relative competence of the two levels of government--state and federal--to make such regulation "tick." On the federal side, several accomplishments effected under Forest Service leadership are touched upon chiefly as indicating its fitness for similar leadership in the forest regulatory field. On the states' side, four tests of their competence are presented, none showing any signal aptitude for recognizing, organizing, and voluntarily acting together for the common interests of all. Hence similar piecemeal state action alone cannot be depended upon to safeguard the general public interest in our forest resources. Rather the forest fire cooperation pattern if followed for regulatory purposes needs supplementing to provide adequate federal authority to carry on where state responsibility fails either to materialize or to continue to be redeemed in terms of agreed upon minimum standards.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Senior forest economist, U. S. Forest Service and Senior member S.A.F.

Publication date: January 1, 1948

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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