For 2014: Those in italics are after midterm

  1. Policies are produced through governance processes, influenced by environment and markets.
  2. Governance addresses who decides, who participates, at what level of government, and with which instruments.
  3. Canadian forest policy is dominated by the provincial level of government.
  4. BC’s government is dominated by the executive, particularly the premier.
  5. Courts have played a limited role in forest policy, with the exception of Aboriginal issues, because of the discretionary nature of BC statutes.
  6. Actors in the policy process have interests and resources, and adopt strategies designed to best use those resources in pursuit of their interests
  7. Institutional design matters because the balance of preferences may change as the location of authority changes
  8. Politicians are primarily driven by electoral incentives, making public opinion a significant constraint on government action
  9. Business control over investment gives it a structural advantage
  10. Public opinion is far more influential on policy makers when it is salient
  11. Environmentalists have effectively used market-oriented strategies to increase their power
  12. First Nations have effectively used the courts to increase their power
  13. The BC government has undergone a profound shift in relations towards First Nations, from active repression through resistance and now apparently sincere efforts at reconciliation
  14. Changes in international markets and technology have undercut BC’s comparative advantage
  15. A combination of globally valued resources and reliance on trade makes BC highly vulnerable to international influences
  16. Certification has increased the influence of private standard-setting organizations but there is little evidence of on-the-ground impacts
  17. US trade pressures have pushed costs up and constrained BC’s policy sovereignty.
  18. BC’s market-oriented forest policy reforms were strongly influenced by trade pressures by the United States
  19. The policy cycle consists of 5 stages: agenda setting, formulation, decision-making, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation
  20. Issues get on the government agenda through a confluence of problem and politics streams
  21. Policy formulation involves both “thinking” (analysis) and “talking” (consultation with stakeholders)
  22. Collaborative planning or “multistakeholderism” has been a BC success story in land use, but the government is no longer using it.
  23. The best argument explicitly addresses an opponents’ strongest claim and addresses it with evidence and reason
  24. Because of the challenges on conflict resolution, policy is often made without clarifying objectives
  25. Because of limited resources, rational decision-making is usually not feasible.
  26. A major challenge for forest policy making is designing policies to accommodate spatial diversity
  27. Forest practices regulation in BC relies on a combination of vague performance objectives, practice requirements, and planning requirements. In comparative terms, BC’s regulatory framework is highly stringent.
  28. There is a tension between factors for success in decision-making (agreement) and implementation (clarity and specificity).
  29. The meaning is in the detail: it is impossible to understand how policy affects the distribution of values without understanding the details of policy design and implementation.
  30. BC’s forests can potentially contribute to greenhouse gas reductions, but immense complexity and uncertainty make effective and efficient policy design very difficult
  31. (not responsible for this one Fall 2014) BC’s vast forest resource is a potentially significant source of energy, but the low energy density and costs of concentrating the resource where it can be processed means that for the foreseeable future it is likely to be a significant, economical source of energy only as a residual product of the forest sector
  32. In comparative context, BC forest policy is relatively distinct in a number of ways, among them: a high level of government ownership, the limited role for the federal government, and a focus on natural forest management in old growth forests
  33. Potential beneficial policy changes are frequently thwarted by intellectual, political, and/or institutional obstacles. Path dependence increases the costs of change.



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