As part of the 10-year socioeconomic monitoring of the Northwest Forest Plan, this report evaluates changes in Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) procurement contracting between 1990 and 2002 by asking, (1) How much and what kind of work did the Forest Service and BLM contract during this period, and (2) who received economic benefits from this procurement contracting? Procurement contracting is a particular focus of the socioeconomic monitoring because one expectation of the Northwest Forest Plan was that the Forest Service and BLM would create high-skill, high-wage private sector jobs in public land restoration through contracting to partially offset job losses in timber production, harvesting, and processing. This report finds that, to the contrary, the Forest Service reduced its contracting of land management activities on national forests in the Northwest Forest Plan area from a high of $103 million in 1991 to a low of $33 million in 2002. By contrast, BLM spending was fairly constant at just under $20 million annually. Both the Forest Service and the BLM changed the type of activities that they contracted, shifting from activities associated with intensive forest management such as tree planting in clearcuts to activities associated with ecosystem management. Contractors located near national forests and BLM lands and rural communities captured a similar proportion of contracts in both the earlier and later parts of the study period. However, the significant decline in Forest Service contract spending resulted in considerable decline in the amount of money flowing to rural communities through contracting. Thus, it is unlikely that federal land management contracting created a net increase in jobs to replace jobs lost in mills and logging operations in public lands communities.
Moseley, Cassandra. 2006. Procurement contracting in the affected counties of the Northwest Forest Plan: 12 years of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-661. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 36 p