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.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Forest Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
The Agricultural Act of 2014., Public Law 113-79, 16 U.S.C. 8205
Tribal Forest Management Demonstration Project, Title 2018 Farm Bill, P.L. 115-334, Section 8703
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
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. It is also recommended that the Forest Service unit provide the cooperator the updated preferred bidders list for projects where forest product removal is being contemplated.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. An approved stewardship proposal must be in place prior to agreement negotiation.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 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. It is also recommended that the Forest Service unit provide the cooperator the updated preferred bidders list for projects where forest product removal is being contemplated. 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 Procedure
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.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Stewardship agreements may be in place for up to 10 years; and may use retained receipts from other stewardship projects to accomplish work. Certain projects that are being conducted in fire regime areas can be up to 20 years in duration.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
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. Where forest products will be removed from National Forest areas, it is recommended that the unit provide the cooperator the updated preferred bidders list for contract awards. 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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: 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.
Not applicable.
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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 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 assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Stewardship agreements may be in place for a period of up to 10 years and up to 20 years for projects in certain fire regime areas. Reimbursable payments are the standard, but advance payments are permitted on a case-by-case basis and the cooperator must justify the need. Advances are limited to the minimum amount needed or no more than is anticipated for the next 30 days.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
John Crockett
1400 Independence Ave, SW Mailstop 1138
Washington, DC 20250 US
Phone: 202-205-1495
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$77,291,085.00; FY 23 est $177,370,184.00; FY 24 FY 21$9,846,861.00; FY 20$31,345,274.00; FY 19$21,704,613.00; FY 18$5,625,052.00; FY 17$13,372,179.00; FY 16$1,586,637.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
16 USC 6591c.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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