Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Legal and Administrative Information


Some partnerships have formal arrangements that involve legal documents or administrative tasks.  While the Forest Service grants and agreement specialist is responsible for paperwork or legal instruments, partners may want to learn more about them.  Remember--it’s important to consult early and often with the Forest Service Grants and Agreements team. 

Some common questions and resources include:

What type of agreement will the partnership need?

  • Agreement instruments” a 1-page document that provides definitions of the types of agreements. 
  • Chapter 5 of the 2014 Partnership Guide lists the different types of partnership agreements and their authorities.
  • This 2017 presentation provides good background on determining the correct agreement type. It includes links to other sites with information on Mou’s, the 1994 DATA Act, and EzFedGrants.  

What are the steps of developing a grant or agreement?

Grants and Agreements provides information on how the agency manages grants and agreements.

What are the authorities under which Forest Service partnerships operate? 

  • The Good Neighbor Authority (not included in the Partnership Guide) allows the Forest Service to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with States and Puerto Rico to allow the States to perform watershed restoration and forest management services on National Forest System (NFS) lands.
  • Another authority that has been recently expanded is the Cooperative Funds and Deposits Act, which now allows the Forest Service to enter into interpretive association-like agreements with not only interpretive associations but also Federal, tribal, state, or local government or nonprofit entities.  For more information on the Expanded Partnership Authority, follow these links: 

What are the ethical considerations of forming a partnership?

  • Ethics: a quick Summary for Partners, condenses major ethical considerations for partnerships.
  • This text discusses the importance of ethics when preparing to enter into a partnership.

Does the federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) apply to my partnerships?

https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/partnerships/legal-administrative-information