Stewardship Agreements

Stewardship End Result Contracting authorizes use of contracts and agreements to help achieve land management goals while meeting local and rural community needs, including contributing to the sustainability of rural communities and providing a continuing source of local income and employment.

It
focuses on the ?end result? ecosystem benefits and outcomes, rather than on what's removed from the land.

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.



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: ? 5,050 acres of forest vegetation established, ? 96,387 acres of wildland-urban interface (WUI) hazardous fuels treated, ? 79,694 acres of non-WUI hazardous fuels treated, and ? 22,133 acres of terrestrial habitat enhanced. ? 1,362,176 ccf of timber volume sold. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

The general purpose of stewardship contracting is to achieve land management goals for National Forest System lands while meeting local and rural community needs.

A stewardship contract or agreement should be used when it is the most effective tool for accomplishing land management objectives. Stewardship agreements are awarded on a best approach determination that takes into account a technical and cost evaluation.

Stewardship agreements typically include the exchange of goods (such as forest products) for services, use of retained receipts, or a combination of both.

Use of stewardship agreements requires that mutual interest and mutual benefit between the Forest Service and the partner exist in the same qualitative way.

All stewardship projects must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Stewardship projects must be consistent with plans relevant to the project, including: land and resource management plans; range allotment plans; fire management plans; and facilities master plans.

All projects must comply with applicable laws, regulations, and agency direction affecting the project areas, including those addressing wilderness areas, endangered species, clean air and clean water, inventoried roadless areas, minimum road system (36 CFR 212.5(b)/FSM 7710.3), designations for motor vehicle use (36 CFR 212.56), and any other requirements for designated special areas.

All contracts and agreements must comply with applicable laws, regulations, and agency direction.

All stewardship projects must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Stewardship projects must be consistent with plans relevant to the project, including: land and resource management plans; range allotment plans; fire management plans; and facilities master plans.

All projects must comply with applicable laws, regulations, and agency direction affecting the project areas, including those addressing wilderness areas, endangered species, clean air and clean water, inventoried roadless areas, minimum road system (36 CFR 212.5(b)/FSM 7710.3), designations for motor vehicle use (36 CFR 212.56), and any other requirements for designated special areas.

All contracts and agreements must comply with applicable laws, regulations, and agency direction.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The Forest Service may enter into stewardship agreements with any entity that has the ability to either perform the work or contract it out.

This can include, state and local governments, Federally recognized tribes and non-profit organizations.

Appropriate Stewardship Activities include (but are not limited to): Road and trail maintenance or obliteration to restore or maintain water quality; Soil productivity, habitat for wildlife and fisheries or other resource values; Setting of prescribed fires to reduce wildfire hazards, improve the composition, structure, condition, and health of forest stands, or to improve wildlife habitat; Removing vegetation or other activities to promote healthy forest stands, reduce wildfire hazards, or achieve other land management objectives; Watershed restoration and maintenance; Restoration and maintenance of wildlife and fish habitat; Control of noxious and exotic weeds and reestablishment of native plant species.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Stewardship Agreements should not be used for: Forest Service overhead costs; Forest Service salaries for contract/agreement development, preparation, or administration; Project planning or environmental analysis; Construction of administrative facilities or major developed facilities; Utilization of forage within an allotment that could be authorized through a grazing permit; Protection, operation, or maintenance of improvements resulting from stewardship projects; Research; Preparation and planning of administrative studies; Land Acquisition.

Credentials/Documentation

When negotiating Stewardship Agreements, the discussions must cover at a minimum, a description of the project, including methodology and technical specifications; both parties? contributions; the responsibilities of the parties; deliverables, reporting requirements; the period of performance; and monitoring. Regardless of who initiates discussions, all elements of a project are subject to negotiation at any time. The Forest Service will provide the partner, at a minimum, a map of the stewardship project area, a description of work to be accomplished; the desired outcome (end results) and the environmental analysis documents. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is 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. When negotiating Stewardship Agreements, there are a number of resource activities to consider. The Forest Service will provide to the partner the necessary resource information in order to complete the technical proposal and any potential bid packages. The technical proposal will be submitted to the Forest Service for joint review and approval. If timber will be removed, the Forest Service will provide the timber sale appraisal, end result work statements, and specifications similar to the A section of a timber sale contract, identified as Appendix E in the Stewardship Agreement. If there is a technical component to the project the Forest Service will describe the desired end results and/or provide specifications to accomplish the work. Throughout this process, the Forest Service and partner are communicating to work out the details to accomplish the project.

Award Procedures

Stewardship projects are typically developed in a collaborative process between the Forest Service and stakeholders and approved by a regional forester or forest supervisor prior to execution of a Stewardship Agreement. A stewardship project may include one or many land management activities affecting areas from a few acres in size up to one or more watersheds. Many stewardship projects may be completed by a partner throughout the life of the (master) agreement. In order to use a stewardship agreement, a few elements must exist: the regional forester must approve the stewardship proposal submitted by the national forest unit; mutual interest and mutual benefit between the Forest Service and the partner exist in the same qualitative way; and both parties are contributing to the project to achieve mutually beneficial results. Retained receipts generated from stewardship projects can only be used on the same or other stewardship projects. We can use appropriated funds and retained receipts to accomplish stewardship activities with an emphasis on restoration, product removal is not required. Monitoring and support should be an integral part of the collaborative process when deciding which projects to pursue using retained receipts.

Deadlines

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

Authorization

The Agricultural Act of 2014., Public Law 113-79, 16 U.S.C 8205.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Other - Not Specified.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Stewardship agreements may be in place for up to 10 years; and may use retained receipts from other stewardship projects to accomplish work.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Percent: 20%. Stewardship agreements are expected to have a 20 percent partner match. However, the Partner is only required to match at least 20 percent of the ?Total Federal Share? column in the ?Stewardship FP? tab of the stewardship agreement financial plan. The partner is not required to match the value of the ?Forest Product (Goods) for services? tab in the financial plan. In the event of a low value of match and a high value of goods for services the Line Officer should carefully consider whether the project is better suited to a competitively awarded stewardship contract instead of a stewardship agreement. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Stewardship agreements may be in place for a period of up to 10 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Reimbursable payments are the standard, but advance payments are permitted on a case-by-case basis and the Partner must justify the need. Advances are limited to the minimum amount needed or no more than is anticipated for the next 30 days.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

No progress reports are required.

If the partner is requesting reimbursement, the partner should include on the invoice the actual costs incurred, not to exceed the maximum allowed by the pre-determined unit rate based on units completed.

If costs come in above the maximum allowable rate, the partner must make up the difference in the amount.

The total costs listed on the financial plan crosswalk per service item is the ?cap? for that item and payments are made on a per invoice basis.

Reimbursement is not made at an average or annual rate and frequency of billing should be outlined in the terms of the agreement.

Program reporting (monitoring) should be submitted by the partner no less than annually and no more than quarterly based on the negotiated terms of the agreement.

Audits

No audits are required for this program.

Records

The partner should retain all records for a period of no less than three years from the expiration or termination date of the agreement. Records include books, documents, accounting procedures and practice, and other data, regardless of the type or format. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving the records has been started before the end of the 3-year period, the records must be kept until all issues are resolved, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later. Records for nonexpendable property acquired in whole or in part, with Federal funds shall be retained for 3 years after its final disposition.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1106-0-1-302; 12-5540-0-2-302.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $1,586,637; FY 17 Estimate Not Available(Exp: Discretionary funding); and FY 18 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

16 USC 6591c.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

John Crockett 1400 Independence Ave, SW Mailstop 1138, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: jwcrockett@fs.fed.us Phone: 202-205-1495

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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