A standing Advisory Committee has specific functions assigned by the PAG’s enabling legislation. The committee’s main charge is to review current issues and suggest topics for analysis. Based on those suggestions, the dean of the College of Natural Resources works closely with the PAG director to design analysis projects. The Advisory Committee has a responsibility to suggest the appropriate focus of the analysis. This is done iteratively, until an outline for the project is mutually agreed upon by the committee and the PAG. The outline is usually organized as a series of focus questions, and the PAG's analytical tasks are to develop replies to the questions. The PAG uses the resources of the university and other public and private organizations as need be. Once the PAG becomes active on a project, the committee receives periodic oral progress reports. This process defines the scope of PAG report content and provides freedom for the PAG to conduct unbiased analysis.
- Tom Schultz—Director, Idaho Department of Lands—Boise, ID
- Kent Henderson—Idaho Wildlife Federation—Lewiston, ID
- Russ Hendricks, Director of Gov’t. Affairs, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation—Boise, ID
- John Robison—Public Lands Director, Idaho Conservation League—Boise, ID
- Virgil Moore—Director, Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game—Boise, ID
- Cecilia Seesholtz—Supervisor, Boise National Forest—Boise, ID
- Mark Benson—Vice President of Public Affairs, Potlatch Corp.—Spokane, WA
- Jeff Foss, Deputy State Director, Idaho Office, Bureau of Land Management
The PAG was created in 1989 by the Idaho state legislature. The following is verbatim from the amended Idaho Code under which the PAG currently operates.
38-714. Creation of forest policy analysis group – Powers and duties
(1) There is hereby created within the Idaho forest, wildlife and range experiment station a “forest, range and wildlife policy analysis group.” The forest, range and wildlife policy analysis group shall be under the control of the dean of the college of forestry, wildlife and range sciences of the university of Idaho and shall have the following powers and duties:
(2) The dean of the college of forestry, wildlife and range sciences, in a manner consistent with existing practice for hiring and electing faculty members to the college and its departments, shall as soon as practicable subsequent to the passage of this act, name a director of the forest policy analysis group. The director and staff shall have academic training and managerial skills appropriate to the college and the position and shall be compensated at a rate commensurate with their abilities and experience. The director and staff shall enjoy all protections of academic freedom and tenure that are consistent with general policies and practices of the college. Individual projects and analyses will be conducted by the group’s staff or members of the college’s faculty, or by scientists from other educational institutions or research entities as appropriate.
(3) The dean of the college of forestry, wildlife and range sciences shall name a forest policy advisory committee representative of the entities, both public and private, which have demonstrated interest in the areas of inquiry and conclusions of the group. Members of this committee shall serve without pay and under such terms of service as may be prescribed by the dean. It shall be responsibility of the committee to review various forest policy issues and suggest the priority, critical focus and appropriateness of these issues for consideration by the forest policy analysis group. The total size of this committee shall not exceed eleven (11) voting members. The dean shall also name a “technical advisory committee” consisting of faculty members and others with a demonstrated technical knowledge of issues or questions posed to the group to help provide guidance and expertise to each of the group's inquiries.
(4) It shall be the duty of and within the purposes of the forest, wildlife and range experiment station to establish a forest policy analysis series in which to publish all results and findings, whether tentative or conclusive, regarding any and all of the group’s studies. Such publication shall be made freely, without prejudice and in a manner consistent with the highest professional, scientific, and ethical standards. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the director and staff of the forest policy analysis group shall seek the counsel and expertise and generally cooperate with other colleges within the state's university system, plus other public or private research efforts.
Mission and Mandate
The Idaho Legislature created the Policy Analysis Group (or “PAG”) in 1989 as a way for the University of Idaho to respond quickly to requests for information and analysis about current natural resource issues. The PAG is administered through the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources, Kurt S. Pregitzer, Dean.
As defined in its enabling legislation, the PAG’s formal mission is to provide timely, scientific and objective data and analysis, and analytical and information services, on resource and land use questions of general interest to the people of Idaho.
Peer review of PAG work is absolutely essential for ensuring not only technical accuracy but also impartiality and fairness. Reviewers are selected separately for each project by the dean and PAG director, sometimes upon recommendation of the Advisory Committee, to ensure that a wide range of expertise is reflected in the design and execution of PAG reports, and that no point of view is favored. Report review criteria used by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences are the guidelines furnished to PAG reviewers. More than one hundred faculty members at 16 universities have authored or reviewed PAG reports. A similar number of public agency personnel and interest group representatives have reviewed PAG reports.
PAG Report Series
The PAG is required by law to report the findings of all its work, whether tentative or conclusive, and make them freely available. PAG reports are primarily policy education documents, as one would expect from a state university program funded by legislative appropriation. The PAG identifies and analyzes scientific and institutional problems associated with natural resource policy issues. In keeping with the PAG’s mandate, several alternative policy options are developed and analyzed in the PAG Report Series. As an operational policy the PAG does not recommend an alternative.