The paper summarises briefly the current status of the major land using activities in the hills and uplands. The dominant land use roles of agriculture and forestry arc explained, as are other uses of recreation, water provision and wild life and landscape conservation. Land use competition in the hills and uplands is seen as the end result of conflicting policy objectives pursued by the major rural resource planning agencies over the past 50 years. The role of these agencies is analysed, as is their ability to meet their objectives in competition with each other. Finally, an attempt is made to establish a quantitative framework within which the interests of the various groups are recognised and priorities in land use can be determined.