Document Type


Publication Title

Ecology Law Quarterly


University of California Press

Publication Date







Environmental Policy | Forest Management


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.


Published as Nie, M. & M. Fiebig. "Managing the National Forests through Place-Based Legislation," Ecology Law Quarterly, 37, no. 1 (2010): 1-52. . © 2010 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on JSTOR ( or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,