the role of state government in private forestry has historically been nonintrusive. With 90 percent of all forestland in private ownership, the attitude regarding government intervention in private property matters has been traditionally conservative. Many attribute the success of the intensive management of the southern pine forests as evidence of the forestry community's ability to effectively use nonregulatory programs to provide a range of forest-based benefits (Ellefson et al. 1995).
The first major state efforts to regulate the forestry practices of private landowners occurred in the 1930s and 1940s with the establishment of seed-tree laws, all of which have been repealed and replaced with more modern regulatory programs (Ellefson and Cubbage 1980). Fostered by heightened social and political concern over natural environments, the second generation of forest practice(s) regulatory programs arose during the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1971 and 1974, California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington became the first states to establish comprehensive forest practice(s) regulatory laws. Alaska and New Mexico followed suit in 1978. In 1982, Massachusetts's legislative assembly substantially expanded the regulatory authority granted by the state's Forest Cutting Practices Act (Henly and Ellefson 1986). Maine enacted a comprehensive forest practice(s) law in 1989, as did Connecticut in 1991. No southern or midwestern state has adopted a comprehensive forest practice(s) regulatory law.
Since the mid-1980s, a third generation of forest practice(s) regulatory laws and programs has evolved. In some states (for example, California and Washington), these laws and programs are concerned with the long-term, cumulative effects of forest practice(s) on the sustainability, productivity, and biological diversity of forest ecosystems. In other states (for example, Florida, Maryland, Montana, and Virginia), forestry practice is only one component of a broader state regulatory system that is designed to reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution from agricultural, forested, and urban areas or to promote natural resource conservation generally. In many states (for example, Georgia), forest practice(s) regulatory laws are a statewide mosaic of rules and ordinances promulgated by local units of government.
Regional differences in the rate of application of forest practice(s) regulatory programs help explain the programs' national presence (Table A-27). These programs comprise the smallest share of regional regulatory programs in the Mid-Continent (2 percent), Great Plains (2 percent), Southeast (4 percent), and South Central (5 percent), and the largest share in the Northeast (17 percent) and the West (29 percent) regions. In the western states, the large forest industry, the rugged topography, and a politically energetic public have spurred the development