About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
ISRN Economics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 982481, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/982481
Research Article

Responding to a Forest Catastrophe: The Emergence of New Governance Arrangements in Southern California

1Environmental Studies, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
2Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1600 Townsend Street, Houghton, MI 49931, USA

Received 5 November 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 20 February 2014

Academic Editors: J. F. Negrón, A. Santini, and B. Schirone

Copyright © 2014 Brian Petersen and Adam M. Wellstead. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The San Bernardino National Forest in southern California experienced an unprecedented bark beetle outbreak in the early 2000s. The outbreak, coupled with a looming threat of catastrophic wildfire, droughts, changing forest management priorities, and a legacy of poor forest management practices coalesced to create a challenge that existing institutions and management agencies could not address. In response, an interagency collaborative effort, the Mountain Area Taskforce (MAST), was initiated. Based on key informant interviews, this paper details how this new governance organization emerged and how it effectively addressed a landscape scale forest challenge. Forest governance analyses often focus attention on macroscales, overlooking the microlevel arrangements that set MAST apart from other responses to bark beetle outbreaks. Interagency collaboration has taken on greater importance in efforts to address forest management at landscape scales and this case study provides important insights into the challenges and opportunities of these new governance arrangements.