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National Forest Litigation in the US Courts of Appeals

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To begin to learn more about how the legal system affects management activities on the national forests, we examined all published US courts of appeals cases decided from 1970 through 2001 in which the Forest Service was the defendant in a lawsuit challenging forest management. Our results demonstrate that, even though the Forest Service wins most courts of appeals cases, judicial review of national forest management is intensifying. Environmental interests were involved in most cases, and the National Environmental Policy Act was the basis for most litigation, although National Forest Management Act and Endangered Species Act cases are increasing. The cases were concentrated in the Ninth Circuit (the West)—the only circuit where the Forest Service lost more than half its cases.
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Keywords: USDA Forest Service; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; law; natural resource management; natural resources; policy

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor Faculty of Forest and Natural Resources Management SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive Syracuse NY 13210, Email: [email protected] 2: Graduate Research Assistant Faculty of Forest and Natural Resources Management SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive Syracuse NY 13210 3: Professor and Associate Chair Faculty of Forest and Natural Resources Management SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive Syracuse NY 13210

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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.

    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

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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