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Seeing the Global Forest for the Trees: How US Federalism Can Coexist with Global Governance of Forests

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 353-365, October 2009

Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-32

Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 5 Aug 2014

Blake Hudson

University of Houston Law Center

Erika Weinthal

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

Both international forest and climate negotiations have failed to produce a legally binding treaty that addresses forest management activities - either comprehensively or more narrowly through carbon capture - due, in part, to lack of US leadership. Though US cooperation is crucial for facilitating both forest and climate negotiations, the role of federalism in constraining these trends has been given scant attention. We argue that, as embodied in the US Constitution, federalism complicates the US’s role in creating any legally binding treaty that directly regulates land uses (e.g. forest management). Because federalism reserves primary land use regulatory authority for state governments, voluntary, market-based mechanisms, like REDD and forest certification, should be included within any binding treaty aimed at forest management, in order to facilitate US participation.

Keywords: Federalism, Forests, Treaty, Constitution, Global Governance

Suggested Citation

Hudson, Blake and Weinthal, Erika, Seeing the Global Forest for the Trees: How US Federalism Can Coexist with Global Governance of Forests (October 1, 2009). Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 353-365, October 2009; Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1577462

Blake Hudson (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uh.edu/faculty/main.asp?PID=5214

Erika Weinthal

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States

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