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Litigants' Characteristics and Outcomes in US Forest Service Land-Management Cases 1989 to 2005

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This research identifies and analyzes all parties involved in 949 US Forest Service land-management court cases initiated between 1989 and 2005. We identified 2,501 parties, the frequency and type of their involvement, and their success rates. Almost 75% of the parties were only involved in one case. All 12 of the most frequent parties opposing the US Forest Service were environmental organizations, whereas the top 12 most frequent US Forest Service supporters included four different types of organizations. Repeat US Forest Service opponents were more successful than nonrepeat opponents. However, only one US Forest Service opponent involved in an average of one or more cases per year won more cases than they lost, and one-half of these opponents settled more often than the average settlement rate. By identifying litigants, policymakers, stakeholders, and the public can understand the prevalence of repeat and one-time litigants and can assess strategies to address these types of parties' propensity to litigate.
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Keywords: Forest Service; agency lawsuits; environmental law; litigant characteristics; litigation; natural resources law

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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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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