The fi ve and a half decades since independence have witnessed an increasing formalization of land tenure in Cameroon. The country’s 1994 Forestry Law is among the most important pieces of legislation in advancing this process. Building on previous initiatives of sedentarization and land titling, the 1994 law imposed a system of classifi cation that proclaimed state ownership of nearly all Cameroon’s vast forestlands. This legal categorization was at odds with local open access and common property land-tenure regimes, as part of which customary rules and traditional authorities regulated access to forest resources.