The Safety of Our Forests and the Prosperity of Our People -- Has Gifford Pinchot's Regulatory Vision Been Realized?

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Government regulation of private forest practices has a rich history of public and professional conflict. Beginning in the 1920s, Gifford Pinchot took up the cause of federal regulation. Today, regulatory programs are administered at all levels of government, but it is primarily the states that oversee forest practices on nearly 40 percent of the nation's private forestland. The culture of regulation presumes certainty about forest practices, makes demands of landowners and harvesters, and involves administrative processes that are legalistic. Future regulatory programs are likely to offer a better balance between imposed versus personal responsibility for forest practices, provide for greater empathy for private landowners and harvesters, and engage an ever-growing number of disciplinary experts in forest practice regulation.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Resource Policy and Administration, College of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota, 1530 North Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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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