Forests are valuable resources from an economic, political, social, and environmental standpoint. They play an important role in rural development and climate change mitigation. Forests provide employment, energy, food, and other goods and services for the estimated 1.5 billion forest-dependent people around the world. Forests are stabilizing elements in soil and water regimes and play an important role in the global carbon balance. Commercially, they are a source of important timber and non-timber products for domestic or international consumption, but they are also essential for communities as a source of a range of subsistence products used by many rural Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This chapter provides a historic analysis of the different public policies that affect and have affected the way communities manage their forests in rural areas of Mexico. In developed democracies, public policy by definition considers the participation of different actors in society involved in a given problem; meanwhile, in less advanced democracies, participation of broader societal groups is rather limited, with government tending to rely on expert groups for planning and definition phases in the development of problem-solving mechanisms.