Case #1248.0

What If We Could Start Over? The US Forest Service Champions "Bottom-up" Management (C)

Publication Date: January 01, 1994
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In a bid to promote regional office innovation and entrepreneurship, the US Forest Service gives significant new administrative and programmatic latitude to the forest supervisors in the system of national forests. Innovation gives way to controversy, however, when one national forest uses Congressionally-appropriated funds for purposes it believes are of urgent importance but are not those specifically mandated. Some program areas--particularly those favored by environmental interest groups--suffer. A crisis ensues for Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson, who must decide both how to deal with Congress and how, if at all, to adjust policy.

Learning Objective:
This re-engineering government case makes for discussion of the appropriate limits on public administrative latitude in a democratic society. Did the Forest Service misappropriate monies? Or was Congress micromanaging?

Other Details

Case Author:
Pamela Varley
Faculty Lead:
Peter Zimmerman
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States