On the Talk-US mailing list, other mappers from the USA have been discussing how National Forest boundaries should be mapped.
There is now generally consensus that these should be tagged boundary=protected_area + protect_class=6 but there are 2 possible lines to follow: 1) The boundary declared by Congress (the legislature), which includes large areas of private land and whole towns in many cases 2) The actual land owned by the Federal Government of the United States within that declared boundary. The argument in favor of the second is that the privately-owned land within the boundary has no actual protection against development. For example, I lived in a village which was within the declared boundaries of the Klamath National Forest, but the development rules were determined by the County government and they were mostly the same as if we were not in the boundary (I think?) In other countries, how are National Park and other protected_area boundaries determined? If there are villages or towns within the boundary, are they actually protected? Are they excluded from the area? – Joseph Eisenberg
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