Groups support continuation of stewardship contracting

Residents of rural America want to do our best to be good stewards of the private and public lands that have been entrusted to us. That’s why the Assembly has endorsed a platform of public policies that help rural communities sustain their local economies while helping the nation thrive.

Groups that were instrumental in creating the Conservation of Natural Resources Policy Opportunity Snapshot for the Rural Assembly are part of a coalition that would like to make you aware of an opportunity to support better rural policy. These organizations are:

  • American Forests
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Sustainable Northwest
  • The Wilderness Society

These groups are concerned that the stewardship contracting program is not set to be reauthorized. This program pays for local businesses to help manage our public lands in ways that encourage healthier, more productive, and environmentally sustainable forests. They say these projects help improve our forests, our national productivity, and our local rural economies.

These groups have crafted a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee of the Senate urging reauthorization of the stewardship contracting authority in the FY 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill.

Stewardship Contracts have a variety of mechanisms that enable the Forest Service to offer contracts for projects with complex ecological objectives in a manner that provides consistency of work for contractors and forest workers, the ability of contractors to compete based on best value, consideration of local benefit, and the ability to apply retained receipts to future restoration projects. These unique contract characteristics  help ensure the implementation of collaboratively developed landscape scale forest restoration strategies are assured through the contracting process. We want to ensure that all the collaborative groups working on landscape scale restoration continue to have the option of using Stewardship Contracts to achieve their goals.

If your organization would like to sign onto this letter, please contact Dylan Kruse at Sustainable Northwest,dkruse@sustainablenorthwest.org, or 503-221-6911 Ext. 115.

Thanks for considering this request and for doing your part to support a stronger rural America.

Proposed letter to Appropriation Subcommittee