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Forests 2012, 3(3), 467-505; doi:10.3390/f3030467

Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation

US Forest Service, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
Departamento de Geografía, Universidad de la República, Iguá 4225, Montevideo, CP 11400, Uruguay
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, 2800 Faucette Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
EEA Concordia, INTA, CC 34, Concordia, Entre Rios, 3200, Argentina
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Recursos Naturales, Instituto de Silvicultura, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais 36570-000, Brasil
Avenida Joaquim Lopes de Faria 473 apto 201, Santo Antônio, Viçosa, Minas Gerais 36570-000, Brasil
Forest Policy Consultant, 3920 Wentworth Drive, Durham, NC 27707, USA
Departamento de Silvicultura y Ordenación Forestal, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Asunción, San Lorenzo, Paraguay
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 May 2012 / Revised: 12 June 2012 / Accepted: 18 June 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
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Based on theoretical underpinnings and an empirical review of forest laws and regulations of selected countries throughout the Americas, we examine key components of natural forest management and how they are addressed in the legal frameworks of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the U.S. We consider forest policy directives in terms of legislative, planning, operational, environmental/ecological, social, and economic aspects and classify them by the type of policy obligation: (1) non-discretionary laws or rules; or (2) discretionary, voluntary directives; and, further, by the type of policy approach: (1) a specific technology or practice required or recommended; (2) a process or system requirement or recommendation; or (3) a performance or outcome based requirement or recommendation. Protection of at-risk species and riparian buffers are required in all countries and include specific prescriptions in most; forest management planning and secure, legal land title or tenancy are commonly required; and mandatory processes to protect soil and water quality are customary. Less common requirements include forest monitoring and social and economic aspects, and, when in place, they are usually voluntary. Implications for improved policies to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM) are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest regulation; sustainable forest management policy; Latin America; North America forest regulation; sustainable forest management policy; Latin America; North America

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MDPI and ACS Style

McGinley, K.; Alvarado, R.; Cubbage, F.; Diaz, D.; Donoso, P.J.; Jacovine, L.A.G.; de Silva, F.L.; MacIntyre, C.; Zalazar, E.M. Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation. Forests 2012, 3, 467-505.

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