Central to the controversy surrounding U. S. natural resources policy is the conflict between environmentalists and proponents of development. Examining the evolution of the philosophies underlying that conflict, Dr. Alston traces the failure to achieve a unified resources policy to the seemingly incompatible ideological positions held by resource specialists, interest groups, policymakers, econo mists, and foresters. His analysis goes beyond his case study of na ional forest policy to focus on an ancient question basic to policy making in a democratic society: How can government provide a sociopolitical framework that accomodates both individual interests and the need for unity in a collective existence? Only within this broader framework, he argues, is it possible to determine the proper division between private and public resource management or the proper role of government in natural resources planning. Incorporating a critical evaluation of the development of classical and neoclassical economic theory, this work makes clear the need to strike a balance between a strictly individualistic and an ecological point of view. Dr. Alston illustrates the ideological conflicts that complicate resources planning and explores the possibility of a new ideology capable of accomodating and inte grating differences to meet the complex needs of society.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Currents in Forest Policy -- The Crisis in Forest Planning -- Forest Service Policy in the United States: A Survey -- The Evolution of a Philosophical Foundation for Forest Policy -- The Rise of Individualism -- The Demise of the Positive State -- The Irrational Base of Consumer Sovereignty -- The State and Society: Germany’s Perspective and Influence -- Modern Forest and Resource Economics: A Culmination of the Evolution of Ideas -- Creative Change and Integration -- The Legitimate Role of the State in Forest Policy: Alternative Views -- Planning in the Age of Organization -- Bibliographical Essay
Dr. Richard M. Alston is Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics at Weber State College and author of Forest: Goals and Decisionmaking in the Forest Service.