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Mar 1, 2012
Tracking the Growth of Stewardship Contracting in Federal Forests

Pinchot Institute releases FY 2011 report on stewardship contracts and agreements

WASHINGTON D.C. — A popular tool being used by communities across the country to restore forest ecosystems and provide local jobs in depressed rural areas is set to expire next year. The Obama administration’s FY 2013 budget proposal includes a permanent authorization of stewardship contracting and agreement authorities for the USDA Forest Service and USDOI Bureau of Land Management. Five regional workshops held by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and its partners in late 2011 confirmed a broad base of support for the reauthorization of stewardship authorities and the continued use and growth of stewardship contracting. 

On the heels of these stakeholder workshops, a new report released by the Pinchot Institute details: challenges in engaging communities in stewardship contracting and suggestions for improvement by the agencies; successes in engaging communities in stewardship contracting; and the benefits perceived by participants in stewardship projects.

The Institute’s report finds that the stewardship contracting and agreement authorities of the Forest Service and BLM are:
  • Driving innovation in the management of federal forests—achieving efficient outcomes on thousands of acres, while accomplishing restoration work in areas where there previously was not interest or support to do so.
  • Empowering collaborative groups working together to complete integrated restoration work, including: hazardous fuel reduction, habitat improvement, noxious weed control or eradication, road improvements and obliteration, and stream restoration.
  • Helping local communities and other public stakeholders achieve desired ecological, social, and economic benefits.
  • Enhancing administrative and fiscal efficiencies through best-value contracting, the exchange of goods-for-services, designation by description and prescription, and the retention of receipts.
  • Increasing the agencies’ ability to pool and leverage partner resources, including significant amounts of new funding brought in by non-agency collaborators.
  • Increasingly accepted by agency staff as a preferred land management tool, with 85 percent of both Forest Service and BLM staff interviewed for this report indicating an interest in participating in another stewardship contracting project.  

Download the full reports:

FY 2011 Programmatic Monitoring Report to the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (PDF)

FY 2011 Programmatic Monitoring Report to the USDA Forest Service (PDF)

To download the reports from previous years visit:
http://www.pinchot.org/gp/Stewardship_Contracting
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