Federalism in the Forest

National versus State Natural Resource Policy

Tomas M. Koontz

"A concise and readable summary of the differences between federal and state forestry policies. . . . A useful tool. "
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A love for nature and the forest drew Tomas Koontz to develop a keen interest in the workings of public forest management and forest policy. Beyond policy, however, this book is also about the very human issues of federalism, decentralization of control over public lands, citizen participation, and how agency policies, both state and federal, are formulated and exercised.

Federalism in the Forest is the first book to examine and compare public policy performance across both state and national levels, explaining why state agencies excel at economic outputs and profitability, the management of land with state income in mind-while national agencies are stronger in citizen participation and the inarguably important role of environmental protection. Instead of focusing on historical development of federal-state roles or on state officials as affected by national polices, Koontz shows how officials, when given authority, both make and implement policy at the state versus the national level. Although arguments fly about the decentralization of public lands-most often based on ideology-Koontz offers empirical evidence that demonstrates not only that devolution matters, but how.

Table of Contents

Part One: Agency Policy Performance in a Federal System

1. Does Devolution Matter

2. Comparing Four Forest Pairs

Part Two: Differences in State and National Performance

3. State Agency Strengths: Timber, Profits, and Revenue Sharing

4. Federal Agency Strength: Environmental Protection

5. Federal Agency Strength: Citizen Participation in Policy Processes

Part Three: Explaining Bureaucratic Behavior in a Federal System

6. Laws and Forest Plans

7. Budget Incentives

8. Beyond Elected Officials

Part Four: Theoretical and Practical Implications

9. Explaining Policy Performance Differences

10. Implications for Policy in a Federal System

Appendix A. Methods

Appendix B. Statistical Tests for State and Federal Differences


"A concise and readable summary of the differences between federal and state forestry policies. . . . A useful tool."—Natural Resources Journal

"A timely and important book that makes an important contribution to the literature. Federalism in the Forest will be of particular interest to social scientists and policymakers interested in the federal nature of natural resource policy, and to those wondering about the consequences of devolving natural resource policy to state and local levels of government."—Perspectives on Politics

"Tomas Koontz has written an intriguing book where he looks at how federalism works its way out in our national and state forests in the United States. Previous studies have given us good insight about the forest ranger at the national level. Koontz's study of state and national forests . . . fills in the modern picture admirably. For those who want an up-to-date view of the federal system at work, this book is it."—Elinor Ostrom, Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Government, Indiana University at Bloomington, and codirector, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC)

"A first-rate study that shows how American federal and state forest management policies differ and why it matters. It adds greatly to our understanding of the relationship between institutional arrangements linked to public forests and natural resource policy decisions that tilt in the direction of ecological health versus commodity development."—Charles Davis, Political Science Department, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins.

"Intergovernmental differences are increasingly important, yet understudied, aspects within the realm of natural resource policy. A timely book, reveal[ing] important variations in state and federal approaches to forest management."—Toddi A. Steelman, assistant professor, Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Tomas M. Koontz is assistant professor of environmental and natural resources policy, School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University.

248 pp., 6 x 9

Aug 2002

248 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87840-374-5
Aug 2002

248 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-322-3
Aug 2002

American Governance and Public Policy series
Gerard W. Boychuk, Karen Mossberger, and Mark C. Rom, Series Editors

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