Agenda 21 recommends launching or improving opportunities for participation of all people, including youth, women, indigenous people and local communities in the formulation, development and implementation of forest-related programmes and other activities, taking due account of local needs and cultural values.
Public participation in forest management has always had a role in the United States, but there have been significant changes over the decades. In the early years, the Forest Service was seen as an organization of trained foresters, with external guidance coming from select advisory boards. By 1960, with the passing of the Multiple Use Act, public interests in the forest management grew. New recreation and environmental interests had broadened the use-value of the forest through legal channels, from being primarily a natural resource for either production or protection, to one which included recreational use and wilderness protection areas.
In 1976, the US National Forest Management Act formally recognized public participation in the development, review and revision of public land management plans. A general guideline to public involvement recommended that information should be easily accessible and comprehensible; appropriate time for public consideration and feedback, and emphasis on engaging all interest parties, which would include not only immediate user groups, but those with an economic dependency in the forest region, as well as other concerned citizens from outlying areas.