Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are the latest institutional response to conflict over the allocation, use and management of forests in Australia. RFAs involve a process of resource assessment leading to a long-term agreement between federal and state governments. This paper examines the approach to assessment being used in RFAs with reference to the literature on the practice of resource and environmental assessment and the changing shape of intergovernmental relations in Australia. It concludes that RFAs have not succeeded in resolving conflict over forestry, as was intended, but have successfully managed forest politics, both between governments and in the broader policy community.