Forest Restoration and Forest Communities: Have Local Communities Benefited from Forest Service Contracting of Ecosystem Management?
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Conservation-based development programs have sought to create economic opportunities for people negatively impacted by biological diversity protection. The USDA Forest Service, for example, developed policies and programs to create contracting opportunities for local communities to restore public lands to replace jobs lost from reduced timber harvest. This article examines 12 years of Forest Service land management contracting in western Oregon, Washington, and northern California to evaluate if contractors located in communities near national forests have been awarded more land management contracts and contract value over time. We find that land management contracting spending has declined dramatically and, once we control for intervening factors, we find that local contractors have received a smaller proportion of land management contracts over time.