This study of policy change examines the parallel strategies the administration of President George W. Bush has used to substantially alter the direction of forest policy during his first term. Using the Healthy Forests Initiative as a case study, this analysis explains how, by framing the problem of wildfires and forest health in terms of process and pointing blame at environmental groups misusing appeal procedures, the administration was able to emphasize process, rather than the content of existing forest policy. It also provided a reasonable explanation for the president to take a lead in seeking both legislative as well as regulatory change. We contend that the use of two parallel policymaking paths - legislative and administrative - enabled the president to pursue policy change more rapidly, and, from a strategic standpoint, more effectively, than by relying upon the legislative process alone. We offer that the Bush administration's approach to changing forest policy represents a redirection that is likely to serve as a template for further environmental policy change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development