George Ice, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., gice@ncasi.org
Hughes Simpson, Texas Forest Service, hsimpson@tfs.tamu.edu
Tom Davis, Washington State Farm Bureau, tdavis@wsfb.com
Ara Andrea, Idaho Department of Lands, aandrea@idl.idaho.gov (Presenter)


This panel will investigate the differences and similarities in best management practices programs featuring contrasting regulatory frameworks (voluntary vs. mandatory), management conditions, political environments, management activities and goals (agriculture vs. forestry). Four panelists will provide a short presentation with one examining how voluntary forest best management practices are conducted and reviewed, a second will explain how BMPs are managed in a state with laws that mandate use of BMPs, a scientist will discuss how BMPs have evolved and improved, and a panelist will compare and contrast agricultural and forestry BMPs and educate the audience about the development and enforcement of agricultural BMPs. A moderator, with knowledge about Washington Forest Practice laws, will lead the question and answer session The invited panelists will start the question and answer session by sharing their opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of each BMP approach and how a change in policy would impact the work in their region. Discussion will cover the future of BMPs, the implications of favoring one approach, and whether a voluntary system rooted in professionalism and integrity is preferable to a rigid, stringent system of laws. The group will also explore the best BMP enforcement approaches, how adoption of a uniform regulatory framework nationwide would impact states, if a mandate builds credibility with the public, how BMPs program performance can be improved, how professionals can use the popularity and success of BMP programs to influence lawmakers, and if BMPs have exceeded their usefulness and become onerous to forest professionals.