Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


In the wake of the timber wars, communities across the American West have struggled to redefine their relationships to nearby federal forests. The timber-dependent model of the pre-Timber War era, with clear timber targets and economic outputs, has been replaced by more nuanced and less clearly-defined model: ecosystem management. This case study research uses interviews with participants in the Weaverville Community Forest (WCF) to explore the role of a community in managing its nearby federal lands. Momentum for the WCF flowed from a small group of citizens who were invested in the forest despite their cultural and ideological differences regarding its appropriate management. The WCF built upon project successes through management on lands identified as unhealthy or dangerous because of wildland fire risk. The WCF and its partners created a scaffolding of support for politically and economically weakened federal agencies to conduct work in the area.