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When Sound Science Is Not Enough: Regulating the Blues

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In the Blue Mountains of the inland West, early foresters attempted to use the best science of the day to transform old-growth into regulated, productive forests. Managers of the 1920s thought that maximizing outputs from public forests would avert a timber famine. In the effort to reshape the forests into scientifically efficient producers of timber, old-growth had to be liquidated quickly. But the plan backfired, helping to create a forest health crisis across the West as well as a policy nightmare. Understanding the motives of those early foresters and the forest history of the region can help those who seek effective strategies for restoration today.

Keywords: History; Policy; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Assistant Professor Department of Forest Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 120 Russell Laboratories, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI, 53706-1598,

Publication date: 2000-11-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

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

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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