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The Important Role of Standards in National Forest Planning, Law, and Management

April 2014

Citation: ELR 10281

Author: Martin Nie and Emily Schembra

A focal point in conflict over U.S. national forest management is the writing of regulations and forest plans pursuant to the National Forest Management Act. One of the most contested questions in forest planning is what role standards play and ought to play in the process. Standards are legally enforceable, binding, and mandatory requirements and constraints that are found in planning regulations or individual unit-level national forest plans. Case law and public comments reveal key issues, questions, and concerns related to the use of standards in forest planning and law.

Martin Nie is Professor of Natural Resources Policy in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. Emily Schembra is an Associate at the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, University of Montana. The authors wish to thank the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program for its generous grant support.

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