Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy

Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy

Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy

Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy

Excerpt

All books and research papers published by Resources for the Future relate directly or indirectly to current policy problems. Even RFF reports on particular research investigations--publication that are designed for academics and other specialists--can and do affect the ways policymakers approach issues. RFF ideas sown in graduate schools around the nation bear fruit later in what might be called a "trickle-up" process-- for instance, in congressional committee staffs.

The importance of such basic research should not be underestimated. Nevertheless, the nation is confronted with several pressing policy problems that require attention now; it cannot afford the luxury of years of lag time. Accordingly, at RFF we now are encouraging work that synthesizes and applies research results to a range of current problems. This volume presents such a synthesis for some important natural resource policy issues.

Two factors combined to create the need for such a book. First, all of the subjects discussed here are being debated in the public policy arena and legislation is probable for many of them. Everyone concerned--students of public affairs, public and private decision makers, citizens' groups, certainly members of Congress and their staffs--needs to be fully informed if rational debate and action are to be possible.

Second, many of the subjects addressed have been neglected by public policy analysts in recent years, mostly because energy and environmental policy have demanded so much attention that all other issues have been pushed aside. Both energy and the environment are addressed in this volume--they hardly could be omitted--but the reader will find the approach quite different than is typical.

It was not possible for RFF to allocate special funds for this project. As a result, the contributions by those on our staff were undertaken in addition to their regular responsibilities. Some of the authors from out-

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