Federalism and natural resource policy: Comparing state and national management of public forests
The question of different jurisdictions for various government responsibilities is a fundamental issue in American politics and policy. This research compares national and state policy in the context of public forest management. It examines policy processes and outcomes, to address the following questions: To what extent do state and national public forest policy processes differ? What effects do these differences have on policy outcomes? Data come from two matched forest pairs in each of two different regions of the United States, a total of four pairs (eight forests). Forests in each pair are chosen on the basis of similar physical characteristics but different governmental jurisdictions (state versus national). For each of the eight forests, data gathering and analysis involve several techniques, including interviews, questionnaires, observations, and analyses of written documents. Policy process analysis is undertaken within the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, which focuses the researcher's attention on the interaction of actors in action situations pertaining to forest management decisions and activities. Results indicate important differences between state and national policy processes and outcomes. National policy makers face greater statutory, regulatory, and planning constraints affecting their activities than do state policy makers. These constraints require more public input and higher levels of environmental protection. Outcomes reflect these differences. State officials provide more timber, at higher net profit, than do national officials, and they transfer more revenue to local governments. Concurrently, national officials undertake greater efforts to provide non-timber environmental benefits than do state officials.
0617: Public administration