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The federal statute, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, amended the Forest and Rangeland Renewal Resources Planning Act, which Congress passed on August 17, 1974. The new act was known as Public Law 94–588. Specifically, the National Forest Management Act required that the U.S. Forest Service institute a “systematic and interdisciplinary” approach to managing national resources. It also provided for public participation when it came to developing, revising, and implementing plans to manage the nation's forest system.

Prompting greater concern for the preservation and management of the nation's forests was due in large measure to the tremendous housing boom taking place in the United States after World War II. The rapid suburbanization of U.S. society, marked by the new phenomenon of housing developments being constructed ...

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