Resources for the Future has long had a strong interest in public land management. The organization helped to make possible, and in 1960 published, Herbert Kaufman classic book, The Forest Ranger: A Study in Administrative Behavior. I personally have written several books directly bearing on public land administration, and in recent years, John V. Krutilla has made intensive studies of national forest administration. And there have been others--on the RFF staff or sponsored by RFF--who have been concerned with this general field. Paul Culhane follows very much in this tradition, and with this volume he makes a notable contribution to RFF's bibliography on the subject.
Laws, regulations, and policy at the local level are not necessarily, or perhaps not even usually, the same as these laws, regulations, and policy are perceived at the national (or at the state) capital. This was true during the colonial period of American history, and it was especially the case during the long era of federal land disposal. When I served as a federal land administrator, I became acutely aware of this situation and tried to do something about it. Now that I am a researcher and writer, I am more than ever impressed with the divergence between announced policy and actual results in the field.
The basic problem is that individuals interpret laws and policies to their individual advantage. Their ideals or goals, their strivings for per-