Forest protection can imply binding constraints on communities (‘fences & fines’) yet some attempts to protect forest by blocking local land use are fruitless (‘paper tigers’). Participatory protection, i.e. involving a local community in forest ‘co-management’, is a relatively recent forest policy innovation that falls between these two endpoints. We model the emergence of negotiated agreements that can share management of and benefits from forest between actors with different objectives, a state and forest users. Going beyond models of user-user interactions involving common-property resources, our state-user model addresses the question of when rights are devolved to such users. Next we compare our derived hypotheses about de facto rights, negotiated agreement, and within-agreement transfers -- all endogenous -- with unique community-level data describing a large protected area in Indonesia. The results broadly support this model
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