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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Policy (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Social Sciences

Advisor 1

Shan Zhou

Committee Member 1

Nancy Langston

Committee Member 2

Adam Wellstead


The core of process tracing involves tracing causal mechanisms from cause to outcome. Tracing causal mechanisms cultivates a better understanding of how policy mechanisms produce a result. Mechanisms are implementations that enforce policies. Starting in 1807 with the signing of the first of seven treaties with the Anishinaabe, this case study traces the policy mechanisms throughout a 118-year time frame. Through analyzing thousands of pages of court documents, congressional reports, treaties, federal legislation, various state commission reports, senate testimony, and state acts, this case study traces a story hinged on controlling land to extract its resources and uncovers. This story discovers that those who first took advantage of careless land policy in the United States, enriching themselves through land and timber speculation, continue to do so through part of Michigan’s reforestation policy. In the end, the passage of Public Act 94 of 1925 showed policymakers had learned nothing from 118 years of fraud, mismanagement, greed that necessitated its creation.