A public policy is no more than a statement of intent until, and unless, it is successfully implemented through often complex administrative processes. Chief among these is the budget process, through which a policy can be either promoted or suppressed. In the management of the national forests, as in many areas of federal policymaking, the budget process includes an array of organizations and suborganizations in both the executive and legislative branches, each with their own values, incentives, and agendas. The interplay of these powerful forces and its impact on the resources of our national forests is the subject of this masterful new book by V. Alaric Sample. Sample studies the difficulties that have occurred in integrating the results of strategic planning under the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA) of 1974 and the difficulties that can be expected to occur in implementing the national forest plans prepared under the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976. As a basis for determining what those corrective measures are and how successful they might be, the external political environment of the Forest Service, as well as the agency's internal dynamics, are discussed in detail. The study begins with a critical examination of budget trends for the Forest Service over the past 25 years. On a program by program basis, each year's budget is analyzed at each point in the political process to reveal the changes made by the Secretary of Agriculture, OMB, and the House and Senate appropriations committees. The results are displayed against Forest Service strategic plans developed under RPA to determine the consistency between planned and actual budgets andprogram levels. To get a better sense of the internal dynamics and external environment of Forest Service budget development, the budget for a single fiscal year is followed, from its initial stages on five case study national forests to its final approval as Forest Service appropriations. The budget is then followed through two additional stages: the allocation of funds back to the local national forest level and the reporting of expenditures at the end of the fiscal year. The lack of integration between the Forest Service planning and budgeting processes has important implications for the implementation of national forest plans and, more broadly, for the carrying out of various reforms of the National Forest Management Act. Practitioners and students of public management and policymaking will find this study to be a clear and thorough illustration of general principles, developed in the context of current administrative theory, that apply to the implementation of public policies at all levels.