The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) identified the loss of open space as a core threat to the health of national forests. Widely acknowledged are the ecological interconnections between public and private lands. But there is also an important historical and political relationship between national forest management and private land development. There is ample historical precedent for the USFS to consider what is happening outside its jurisdiction and respond accordingly on national forests. We expect national forests to become more politically contested in the future, as a result of the fragmentation taking place on private lands. If the agency fails to consider the larger landscape when making decisions, we also expect a growing number of interests to challenge it politically and legally. There are several policy tools and strategies that can be used to deal with the private land development problem, and we focus on some that have received less attention.
- National forest management
- Private land