On July 23-27th, 2012, the Rights and Resource Initiative (RRI), in collaboration with the United States Forest Service and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, held the third Rethinking Forest Regulations workshop in Missoula, Montana, United States. Bringing together participants from seven countries currently undergoing forest or tenure reforms (Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Lao PDR, Liberia, Nepal, and Peru), the event served to better prepare and inform forest agency officials and civil society organizations in meeting the challenges of forest regulations.

It exposed participants to effective and innovative regulatory models that are inclusive of various stakeholders and respect individual and collective property rights. Moreover, it promoted information sharing among the participants through frank and open dialogue, and discussion on the broader challenges confronting forest agencies.

The event began in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest with an orientation on the legal and administrative structure and in-depth reviews of Montana’s Best Management Practice system (BMP). The workshop included several field trips to harvesting operations, where participants learned how logging operations are audited through BMP monitoring in practice, and to tribal lands to understand how federal, state and tribal jurisdictions interact, among other sites.