Policy vs. local conditions
I just wrote an in-house grant proposal to try to get funding for a graduate student interested in forest history in South Carolina, and what interested me most was the relationship between federal policy and what happens on the ground in a particular local conditions, both of environment and of culture. I wrote: Most of the important changes in environmental policy have come in the form of federal legislation, such as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the National Forest Management Act of 1976. However, environments vary, and national legislation will have different impacts in different parts of the United States, depending on the local environment and local culture. For example, protection of two endangered species that required radical shifts in forest management--the red-cockaded woodpecker in the Southeast and the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest--led to very different controversies over forest management practices, due both to environmental differences and to different levels of environmental activism in the two regions.