Integrating science and policy development: Case of the national research council and US national policy focused on non-federal forests

Paul V. Ellefson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Policy development is a sequence of political events, each of which is improved with information resulting from scientific inquiry. Science can help identify important issues, broaden the range of policy options, clarify relationships between objectives and policies, and identify risk and uncertainty associated with policies. The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the scientific basis for federal policies focused on non-federal forests (200 000 000 ha) in the United States. The science review resulted in seven broad recommendations for national action. In retrospect, the review demonstrated that complex administrative issues challenge science, discipline orientation of science often detracts from effective policy development, conflicting scientific evidence can complicate policy decisions, scientific models often suggest more certainty to policy development than actually exists, partisan driven science frequently confuses policy development, and scientific information can conflict with the political necessity to agree on a policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2000

Keywords

  • Federal policies
  • Forest resources
  • Non-federal forests
  • Policy development
  • Science

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