Forest Policy and Governance Textbook

My textbook on U.S. forest policy and governance has recently been published by Routledge / Earthscan. This text, intended for upper-level undergraduate and lower-level graduate students, begins with three chapters on the historical context for forest policy and governance development before exploring specific themes of contemporary importance: water and wildlife, climate change and disturbances, state and county roles, tribal forests and forestry, family forestlands, corporate forestlands, communities and forests, “unseen” forest users, and contemporary debates and controversies. The content includes consideration of both social diversity and ecological complexity and highlights themes that are underdeveloped in other policy and governance textbooks. As an introductory text, it can be used on its own or as a complement to other course materials; for example, in my own natural resource policy course I use it along with law review articles and other readings that examine more deeply some of the themes included in the book.

More information can be found here and here.


Forest Policy and Governance in the United States: An Introduction incorporates deep historical research, integration of theoretical frameworks, and an inclusive approach to understanding the complexity of forest policy. The details of some of today’s most important trends and debates are made accessible through numerous real-world examples. This text fills the enormous need for an updated work on US forest policy and governance.” — Dr. Courtney Schultz, Associate Professor of Forest Natural Resource Policy and Director of the Public Lands Policy Group, Colorado State University

“In Forest Policy and Governance in the United States: An Introduction, Jesse Abrams takes us beyond a simplistic mountaintop view of America’s forested landscapes to the diverse array of ownerships, governance institutions, management approaches, uses and users, social values, environmental dynamics, and policies operating beneath the canopy. This comprehensive and outstanding volume is essential reading for anyone engaged with forest issues in the United States today.” — Dr. Susan Charnley, Research Social Scientist, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service

Forest Policy and Governance in the United States: An Introduction is an important new survey of key topics in forest policy and governance. It includes a variety of perspectives, examples from every region, and broad consideration of issues impacting both public and private lands in an engaging, easy-to-read style.” — Dr. Mindy Crandall, Assistant Professor of Forest Policy, Oregon State University

“We need more students trained in the science and art of forest and natural resource policy. And we need policy textbooks and case studies students want to read. Forest Policy and Governance in the United States: An Introduction provides a clear and complete treatment of a complex topic and is written in an engaging style that will hold students’ interest.” — Dr. Dennis Becker, Dean, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho