The conservation policy network, 1890-1910: The development and implementation of "practical" forestry

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The economic elite theory of American politics offers a better understanding of the development of the U.S. Forest Service, and its precursors, than the more recent state autonomy theory. During the Progressive Era a policy network composed of individuals from the upper class and the corporate community imported European forestry ideas into the United States and transformed them into "practical forestry," an approach emphasizing the profitable harvesting of timber. This policy network used the government forest agencies to establish practical forestry as the dominant discourse on forest management in the U.S. and developed the U.S. Forest Service in ways attuned to the interests of the timber industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-299
Number of pages31
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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