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RPA/NFMA--Time to Punt

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Attempting to resolve conflicts in the management of the national forests, Congress enacted the Resources Planning Act and the National Forest Management Act, which now mandate planning for the National Forest System. Because the required plans must be capable of withstanding legal challenges, exorbitant amounts of time and money have to be, and are being, allocated to their preparation. The two acts should be repealed. Planning could then proceed as an administrative procedure, at far lower cost, and the agency could reestablish its emphasis on its development, management, and protection activities. Management conflicts should be handled not by legislation and litigation, but by relying on emerging capabilities: the USDA Forest Service has shown its willingness to listen to opinions from the public, and the local land managers should resolve conflicts locally, through bargaining, compromise, and negotiation.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Dean, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Publication date: 1981-12-01

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  • 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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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