IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rethinking Scientific Management


  • Nelson, Robert


The U.S. Forest Service was founded early in the twentieth century with the progressive mission to achieve the scientific management of the forests of the United States. Scientific management was in part a political theory, holding out a model by which social values and technical considerations should function separately in the political process. However, since the 1970s the autonomy of Forest Service professionals to manage the national forests has been undermined by judicial decisions, White House and other executive branch oversight, and routine Congressional interference. Ecological management is a new attempt in the 1990s to revive scientific management but it is not likely to be any more successful than previous efforts. Instead, a new governing paradigm is needed for the national forests. This new vision is likely to involve a turn towards greater decentralization of governing responsibility than is prescribed by the scientific management model.

Suggested Citation

  • Nelson, Robert, 1998. "Rethinking Scientific Management," Discussion Papers dp-99-07, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-99-07

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wernstedt, Kris & Hersh, Robert, 1997. "Land Use and Remedy Selection: Experience from the Field — The Fort Ord Site," Discussion Papers dp-97-28, Resources For the Future.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sedjo, Roger, 1998. "Forest Service Vision: Or, Does the Forest Service Have a Future?," Discussion Papers dp-99-03, Resources For the Future.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-99-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.