THE EFFECT OF THE ROADLESS AREA CONSERVATION RULE ON TIMBER EMPLOYMENT
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In 2001, the U.S. Forest Service issued the Roadless Area Conservation Rule: road construction and substantial timber harvesting were prohibited on over 58 million acres of roadless land, comprising 31% of the total National Forest acreage. Echoing previous public debate over National Forest preservation, concerns over the employment impact of this rule filled newspapers and political speeches. National macroeconomic data was used in conjunction with county-specific employment figures, timber harvests, and roadless acreage to produce estimates of the effect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule on timber employment. A fixed effects econometric model revealed that while there was no observable change in timber employment at the national level, some individual counties experienced a decrease in timber employment. The Forest Service could focus grants, stewardship contracts, and other policy tools on these counties to try to reconcile the goal of community stability with the goal of wilderness preservation.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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