Stewardship Contracts

What is a stewardship contract?

A stewardship contract would use a negotiated, performance-based service contract to bundle together related services and the sale of forest products from a piece of National Forest System land. A stewardship contract might include prescribed burning to improve wildlife habitat or reduce forest fuels, road maintenance or reclamation, watershed or stream rehabilitation, pre-commercial thinning or other activities in conjunction with the sale of forest products off the same piece of land. The proceeds from the sales could be used to offset the cost of these other activities. This would make it easier and more affordable to properly manage National Forest System lands

How a stewardship contract works

  • Land stewardship contracts bundle together a variety of land management tasks within a single contract.
  • Values from recoverable forest products will be used to offset the cost of stewardship services
  • Contracts can be awarded on the basis of best value as opposed to high bid as in the case of timber sales or low bid as in the case of service contracts.
  • Land Stewardship contracting authority does not replace either the timber sale contract or service contract.
  • Stewardship projects will be developed in collaboration with local communities, cooperating agencies (including tribal governments) and other interested parties.
  • Healthy ecosystems, sustainable rural communities and local employment are complimentary goals of stewardship contracting.
  • Demonstration projects will test a variety of contracting and bidding mechanisms, including contract performance based upon descriptive end results.
  • Multi-party monitoring and evaluation will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of demonstration stewardship projects.