Federal Land Stewardship Contracting
Background: In 2003 Congress authorized the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to enter into stewardship contracts and agreements aimed at “achieving land management goals for the national forests that meet local and rural community needs.” The legislation’s primary focus is to achieve these goals through stewardship projects awarded under contracts or agreements. Unique to the legislation is the ability to exchange goods for services that meet land management objectives. In order to receive compensation for the time and energy expended in restoration activities, restoration by-products, such as poles and saw logs, are examples of goods that can be sold under stewardship contracts. To see photos of some equipment and products click here.
Stewardship End Result Contracting improves land conditions and includes natural resource management practices that incorporate a broad range of activities designed to promote closer working relationship with local communities. Stewardship contracting is a means for federal agencies to contribute to the development of sustainable rural communities, restore and maintain healthy forest ecosystems, and provide 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.
The U.S. Forest Service Federal Contracting Guide states the following: “Stewardship contracting is intended to help the agencies achieve a variety of land management goals. These goals emphasize land protection and restoration, rather than resource extraction”
Key Stewardship Goals Include:
- Improve, maintain, and restore forest and rangeland health
- Restore and maintain water quality
- Improve fish and wildlife habitat
- Re-establish native plant species and increase their resilience
- Reduce hazardous fuel
For more information about stewardship contracting: http://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/stewardship
Lomakatsi’s Experience with Stewardship Contracts and Agreements
Since the emergence of federal land stewardship contracting in southwestern Oregon in 2004, Lomakatsi has accomplished successful implementation as a lead community based ecological forestry organization and contractual entity. The missions and values which guide the stewardship contracting are aligned with the foundation of Lomakatsi’s ecological and social principles.
Over the years, Lomakatsi and our partners have developed successful strategies and integrated approaches where ecologically driven management objectives are combined with innovative resource extraction methods. We have pioneered a holistic, community based model which addresses the social, economic and ecological aspects of stewardship projects. Through this approach, we have achieved successful outcomes not only on-the-ground, but within the forest-based rural communities in which we live, work and serve.
Since 2004 Lomakatsi has built our organization’s capacity in stewardship contracting from the ground up, including assisting in building the capacity of other contractors and organizations. Successful stewardship project implementation has been accomplished on several thousand acres for multiple projects. The ground work for associated utilization of forest products, biomass and market development is becoming well established. During this time, Lomakatsi has provided training and employment to over 200 forest workers, contractors and logging operators through stewardship contracts and agreements.