Partnership Agreements

To increase participation by partners in all authorized Forest Service programs and activities.



Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

U. S. Forest Service Regional Partnership websites may be found at the following link http://www.fs.usda.gov/prc.



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Partnership agreements and cooperative agreements are entered into in support of the U. S. Forest Service's mission.

The U. S. Forest Service?s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation?s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The U. S. Forest Service may approach or be approached by a potential partner to enter into a partnership agreement that results in a joint accomplishment of work benefiting both organizations.

The principal purpose of partner agreements is the creation of partnerships in support of projects of mutual interest and mutual benefit to each party.

Partnership agreements are considered non-assistance agreements and are not considered grants or cooperative agreements as those terms are used in the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act, 31 U.S.C.

6301 et seq.

The principal purpose of partner agreements is the creation of partnerships in support of projects of mutual interest and mutual benefit to each party.

Mutual interest exists when both parties benefit in the same qualitative way from the objectives of the agreement.

If one party independently has an interest in a project that is shared by the other party, and both parties pool resources to obtain the end result of the project, mutual interest exists.

Most of authorities requires a mutual interest agreement.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The Forest Service partners with non-profits; for-profit; institutions of higher education; federal, state, local, and Native American tribe governments; individuals; foreign governments and organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The Forest Service has partnership authorities to enter into agreements and cooperative arrangements with willing members of the public, which include but are not limited to, for profit; non-profits; institutions of higher education; federal, state, local, and Native American tribe governments; foreign governments and organizations.

Credentials/Documentation

The partner must maintain current information in the System for Award Management (SAM) until receipt of final payment. This requires review and update to the information at least annually after the initial registration, and more frequently if required by changes in information. System for Award Management (SAM) means the Federal repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a Cooperative. Additional information about registration procedures may be found at the SAM Internet site (currently at https://www.sam.gov). Also, the partner must immediately inform the U.S. Forest Service if they or any of their principals are presently excluded, debarred, or suspended from entering into covered transactions with the Federal Government according to the terms of 2 CFR Part 180. Additionally, should the partner or any of their principals receive a transmittal letter or other official Federal notice of debarment or suspension, they shall notify the U.S. Forest Service without undue delay. This applies whether the exclusion, debarment, or suspension is voluntary or involuntary. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The U.S.

Forest Service may approach or be approached by a potential partner to enter into a partnership or cooperative agreement.

Any party may initiate discussions to enter into an agreement.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. A partnership agreement is not considered a procurement contract under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) or a grant as that term is used in the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act, 31 U.S.C. 6301 et seq. Partnership agreements do not incorporate 2 CFR Part 200 into the terms of the agreement. A partnership agreement is a mutually binding legal relationship between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law. Partnership agreements do not require competition as the partner is required to provide a contribution or match to the agreement. Contributions are necessary to meet the intent and requirements of mutual interest mutual benefit partnership as stated in the authorizing authority provided to the U.S. Forest Service by Congress. Contributions from either party may include cash, services, in-kind contributions, donation of equipment, volunteer labor, and so forth.

Award Procedures

Partnership agreements and their supporting documentation are both negotiated and drafted in collaboration with prospective partners prior to entering into an agreement. Discussions cover at a minimum, the appropriate statutory authority; a description of the project, including methodology and technical specifications; contributions and the responsibilities of the parties; financial plan; the period of performance; monitoring and accomplishments reporting. Regardless of who initiates discussions, all elements of a project are subject to negotiation. Any party may terminate the agreement at any time. Except for provisions necessary for legal compliance, all elements of a partnership agreement are subject to negotiation and modification. Both parties are expected to negotiate, resolve, and document differences in cost and/or proposed work in writing. Any party may terminate the agreement at any time. None of the parties should perform work outside the scope of the existing instrument or in excess of the funding prior to the execution of a modification.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, Public Law 95-113, 7 U.S.C 3318 - 3319a; Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, Public Law 96-480, 15 U.S.C 3710a; Cooperative Funds and Deposits Act of December 12, 1975, Public Law 94-148, 16 U.S.C 565a1 ? a3; Wyden Amendment , Public Law 105-277, Sec 323, 16 U.S.C 565a-1; Interior and Related Appropriations Act of 1992 (Challenge Cost-Share Authority) , Public Law 102-154; Public Land Corps Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2005, Public Law 109-154, 16 U.S.C 1701; 2014 Farm Bill, Agriculture Conservation Experienced Service (ACES) Program, Public Law 113-79, Section 8302, Public Law 113-79.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Modification and extensions of agreements are subject to project requirements and available resources.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: For partnership agreements, the partner?s contribution should not be less than 20 percent. The partner may satisfy the matching requirement by providing cash, real or personal property, services, and/or in-kind contributions, such as volunteer labor. The only exception to the matching requirement is for agreements that take place primarily outside of National Forest System lands that cite the Wyden Authority. Contributions on these agreements are negotiable and may require competition. There is no matching requirement for Forest Service Research & Development's Cost-Reimbursable Agreements. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Partnership Agreements may last up to a maximum of 5 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Payment is generally made on a reimbursement basis. Cash advances are limited to agreements citing P.L. 94-148. Cooperator cash advances are limited to the minimum amount needed to perform anticipated activities or no more than is needed for a 30-day period, whichever is less.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Agreements require performance reports.

Frequency and level of detail are based on the type or complexity of the project.

At a minimum, performance reports are submitted at least annually.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits

No audits are required for this program.

Records

Retain all records pertinent to this agreement for a period of no less than 3 years from the expiration or termination date. Records include books, documents, accounting procedures and practice, and other data, regardless of the type or format.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1104-0-1-302 - Forest and Rangeland Research; 12-1105-0-1-302 - State and Private Forestry; 12-1106-0-1-302 - National Forest System; 12-1115-0-1-302 - Wildland Fire Management; 12-1103-0-1-302 - Capital Improvement and Maintenance.

Obigations

(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 16 $74,792,047; FY 17 Not Separately Identifiable; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. U.S. Forest Service Regional Partnership websites may be found at the following link http://www.fs.usda.gov/prc.

Headquarters Office

Jacqueline Emanuel 1400 Independence Ave, SW Mailstop 1138, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: jemanuel@fs.fed.us Phone: 202-205-2254

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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