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State-level forestry policies across the US: Discourses reflecting the tension between private property rights and public trust resources

Erin Clover Kelly and Mindy S. Crandall

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 141, issue C

Abstract: Policies impacting forest management on privately-owned lands demonstrate remarkable variety across the United States, with each state emphasizing different approaches to balancing private property rights with the protection of public trust resources. Though private property rights are historically paramount in the US, previous researchers have identified a variety of policy approaches on private forest lands, from regulatory to non-regulatory. We expand on these categories through a discourse analysis of state-produced documents (including legislation, rules, and best management practices manuals). Through this analysis, we create a typology of categories that express assumptions about landowner behavior and the appropriate role of state intervention. The typology identifies four discourse categories used to varying degrees within each state: landowner stewardship, forestry expert stewardship, science-bureaucracy, and participatory conservation. This typology allows for comparison of policy approaches and comparison across resources and jurisdictions.

Keywords: Forest policy; Discourse analysis; Typology; Forest management; Private property rights; Public trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102757

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