Background: In 2003, Congress authorized the U.S. 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 was to achieve these goals through stewardship projects awarded under contracts or agreements. Unique to the legislation was 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 byproducts, such as poles and saw logs, can be sold under stewardship contracts.
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 relationships 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.