Erin Kelly

Professor - Forest Policy & Administration

Erin Kelly
(707) 826-4150
210 Forestry Building

I teach FOR 471 (Forest Administration), FOR 365 (Forest Economics), FOR 359 (California and US Forest and Wildland Resources Policy).

My research is focused on the many ways that humans interact with forests – socially, politically, economically, and culturally, including:

  • How federal and state policies affect forests, the forest industry, and forest communities;
  • Diverse forms of forest governance, tenure, and management;
  • Collaborative forest governance in response to shared risks such as wildland fire;
  • New forest markets, including forestry programs under the California cap-and-trade market; and
  • Rural restructuring, and economic and social transitions of rural places.



PhD (2010) Oregon State University, Forest Social Science
M.S. (2005) Oregon State University, Forest Resources
B.A. (1998) Whitman College, Psychology

Courses Taught

FOR 471 Forest Administration
FOR 365 Forest Economics
FOR 359 California and US Forest and Wildland Resources Policy

Current Graduate Students

Name Thesis
Catriona Barr
Claire Anderson


Ashmead, C., Kelly, E.C. In Press. In flux: Social adaptability in two former timber towns transitioning to new economies. Journal of Rural Studies.

Goldstein, B., M. Crandall, E.C. Kelly. 2023. “The cost of doing business”: Private rights, public resources, and the resulting diversity of state-level forestry policies in the U.S. Land Use Policy 132: 106792.

Kane, J.M., E.C. Kelly, B. Graham, D. Greene. 2023. Fostering socio-ecological resilience to wildfire by interconnecting knowledge systems at Cal Poly Humboldt. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 45:52-66.

Hysen, L.G., S.A. Cushman, F.A. Fogarty, E.C. Kelly, D. Nayeri, W.H. Wan. 2023. Northern spotted owl nesting habitat under high potential wildfire threats along the California Coastal Redwood Forest. Science of the Total Environment 890: 1642616.

Kelly, E.C., M.S. Crandall. 2022. State-level forestry policies across the US: Discourses reflecting the tension between private property rights and public trust resources. Forest Policy and Economics 141.

Kelly, E.C., M.L. Formosa. 2021. Two rural industries intersecting over time: Cannabis production and ecological restoration in the Mattole Valley, California, USA. Chapter 22 in The Routledge Handbook of Post-Prohibition Cannabis Research, Corva, D., and J.S. Meisel (eds.).

Kelly, E.C., and M.L. Formosa. 2020. The economic and cultural importance of cannabis production to a rural place. Journal of Rural Studies 75: 1-8.

Formosa, M.L., Kelly, E.C. 2020. Socioeconomic benefits of a restoration economy in the Mattole River Watershed, USA. Society and Natural Resources,

Charnley, S., Kelly, E.C., Fischer, A.P. 2020. Fostering Collective Action to Reduce Wildfire Risk Across Property Boundaries in the American West. Environmental Research Letters 15.

Kelly, E.C., S. Charnley, J.T. Pixley. 2019. Polycentric systems for wildfire governance in the western United States. Land Use Policy 89.

Kelly, E.C., and G. Brown. 2019. Who are we educating and what should they know? An assessment of forestry education in California. Journal of Forestry 117(2): 95-103.

Kelly, E.C., and A. Christiansen. 2019. From lightning rod to community asset? The creation of a protected area in northern California and its evolving relationship to a nearby community. Society and Natural Resources 32(6): 657-674.

Kelly, E.C., Y. Everett. (co-editors). 2018. The American West after the Timber Wars. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations.

Kelly, E.C. 2018. The role of the local community on federal forest lands: the Weaverville Community Forest. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 40: 163-177.

Kelly, E.C., A. Tuttle. 2018. Finding solutions through politics: one view from inside the timber wars. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 40: 23-31.

Kelly, E.C., C.P. McIver, R.B. Standiford, M. Haggerty. 2017. Socioeconomics of the redwood region. In: Proceedings of the Coast Redwood Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-258. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Pages 345-356.

Kelly, E.C. 2017. The listing of coast redwood as endangered under the IUCN Red List: lessons for conservation. In: Proceedings of the Coast Redwood Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-258. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Pages 361-370.

Kelly, E.C., J. Di Tommaso, A. Weisgrau. 2017. Family forest owners in the redwood region: Management priorities and opportunities in a carbon market. In: Proceedings of the Coast Redwood Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-258. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Pages 403-412.

Kelly, E.C., G.J. Gold, J. Di Tommaso. 2017. The willingness of non-industrial private forest owners to enter California’s carbon offset market. Environmental Management 60(5): 882-895.

Charnley, S., E.C. Kelly, K. Wendel. 2017. All lands approaches to fire management in the Pacific West: A typology. Journal of Forestry 115(1): 16-25.

Schmitz, M., and E.C. Kelly. 2016. Developing a forest carbon offset protocol at the forefront of cap-and-trade: Lessons in ecosystem service commodification. Global Environmental Politics 16(4): 90-110.

Kelly, E.C., and M. Schmitz. 2016. Forest offsets and the California compliance market: Bringing an abstract ecosystem good to market. Geoforum 75:99-109.

Kelly, E.C., and S. Carson. 2016. The roots of community forestry: subsistence and regional development in Newfoundland. Chapter in: Teitelbaum, S. (ed.), Community Forestry in Canada. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.

Kelly, E.C. 2016. The role of “the public” in the management of Newfoundland’s forestry heritage. The London Journal of Canadian Studies Vol. 31: 45-66, special issue: The Political, Environmental, and Cultural Economy of Heritage in Atlantic Canada: Studies in Regeneration.

Kelly, E.C., and J. Kusel. 2015. Cooperative, cross-boundary management facilitates large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts. California Agriculture 69(1): 50-56.

Kelly, E.C., and H. Gosnell. 2014. Who will own the Mazama? Tribal power and forest ownership in the Klamath Basin. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 36:102-117.

Kelly, E.C. 2014. Cultural entrenchment: explaining gaps between ecosystem-based management policy and practice in the forests of Newfoundland. Forest Policy and Economics 46: 10-18.

Kelly, E.C., J.C. Bliss, and H. Gosnell. 2013. The Mazama returns: the politics and possibilities of tribal land reacquisition. Journal of Political Ecology 20: 429-443.

Kelly, E.C., and J.C. Bliss. 2012. From industrial ownership to multifunctional landscapes: tenure change and rural restructuring in central Oregon. Society and Natural Resources 25(11): 1085-1101.

Gosnell, H., and E.C. Kelly. 2010. Peace on the river? Exploring linkages between the tribal trust responsibility, large dam removal, and socio-ecological restoration in the Klamath Basin, USA. Water Alternatives 3(2): 361-383.

Bliss, J.C., E.C. Kelly, J. Abrams, C. Bailey, and J. Dyer. 2010. Disintegration of the U.S. industrial forest estate: Dynamics, trajectories, and questions. Small-scale Forestry 9: 53-66.

Kelly, E.C., and J.C. Bliss. 2009. Healthy forests, healthy communities: An emerging paradigm for natural resource-dependent communities? Society and Natural Resources 22(6): 519-537.

Bliss, J.C., and E.C. Kelly. 2008. Comparative advantages of small-scale forestry among emerging forest tenures. Small-scale Forestry 7: 95-104.

Abrams, J., E.C. Kelly, B. Shindler, J. Wilton. 2005. Value orientation and forest management: the forest health debate. Environmental Management 36(4): 495-505.