Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2000 (Revised February 2001)

Plum Creek Timber (A)

by Max H. Bazerman, Hannah Bowles, Dov Brachfeld and Jack Troast


Plum Creek Timber Co., the nation's sixth largest private timberland owner and forest products company, must decide whether to enter negotiations with the U.S. government to establish a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) on its Pacific Northwest properties for a threatened fish species, the bull trout. Under the Endangered Species Act, Plum Creek could voluntarily create an HCP in exchange for long-term regulatory assurances from the U.S. government. The company has to weigh several factors in its decision to proceed with the negotiations: whether it can replicate the success of a recent HCP for spotted owls, the likelihood of government or third-party lawsuits against the company, the costs of coordinating with multiple state and federal environmental agencies, and the value of regulatory predictability.

Keywords: Conflict of Interests; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Participants; Environmental Sustainability; Business and Government Relations; Forest Products Industry; United States;


Bazerman, Max H., Hannah Bowles, Dov Brachfeld, and Jack Troast. "Plum Creek Timber (A)." Harvard Business School Case 801-131, August 2000. (Revised February 2001.)