Ecology Law Quarterly
University of California Press
The resolution of multiple use conflicts through place-based (national forest-specific) legislation has recently received increased interest. Most of these proposals combine wilderness designation, restoration objectives, economic development, funding arrangements, and other provisions, in a conservation package to be considered by Congress. Interest in the place-based legislative approach is precipitated by numerous factors, including perceptions of agency gridlock, problems related to forest planning, unresolved roadless and wilderness issues, and the embrace of collaboration. Though the national forests have a more unified governing framework than other federal land systems, the U.S. Forest Service has implemented place-based legislation in a few cases. This Article reviews these cases, and then presents a short case study focused on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Partnership in Montana, which has proposed a place-based bill currently being debated. A brief review of other place-based proposals is also provided. We neither endorse nor oppose these proposals at this point. Instead, we ask a series of questions that we hope will help structure future analysis and debate of place-based national forest legislation. We ask questions pertaining to governance, conflict resolution, precedent, wilderness designation, and funding.