FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about FEPP
Q. So, just what does "FEPP" stand for?
A. Federal Excess Personal Property.
Q. What kind of property is
involved in the Forest Service FEPP program?
Q. Who decides if the property can be used in a States fire program?
A. The State Forester makes the initial decision that an item is appropriate for use; the USDA Forest Service must concur prior to the acquisition.
Q. Does the Forest Service ever just say No?
A. Yes. If the FEPP program manager does not agree that the property is appropriate for use in the program, the acquisition is denied.
Q. Does Congress know the Forest Service loans property to the States?
A. Congress authorized this program. Authorizing legislation includes the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, and the Organic Act.
Q. Is excess the same as surplus?
A. No. Excess property has been identified as unneeded by the agency. Surplus has been identified as unneeded by any Federal agency. The General Services Administration does this identification.
Q. Speaking of the General Services Administration (GSA), isnt this property owned by GSA? Ive seen it referred to as GSA property.
A. No, the property does NOT belong to GSA. The GSA must approve all transaction before they occur, but they do not own the property. Title belongs to the USDA Forest Service.
Q. But, doesnt the State Forester give this property to local fire departments? How can they do that if the title belongs to the Forest Service?
A. Approximately 70% of the property involved in the Forest Service FEPP program is sub-loaned to local fire departments. Key word there is sub-LOANed. The property is on LOAN to the State Forester; much of it is placed with local departments to improve local fire programs.
Q. Does the Forest Service ever demand the return of this property?
A. Rarely. As long as a State or a local unit protects the property and uses it in the fire program, the property is left in place.
Q. Why doesnt the Forest Service just give it away?
A. The Forest Service has no legal authority to give away property. Therefore the property remains titled to the Forest Service.
Q. Where does this property come from?
A. Most of it is recycled military equipment. Some comes from the Forest Service itself, and some from sister land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management.
Q. How can my local department get a truck or other equipment?
A. Contact your State Forester or your State FEPP Manager.
Q. We are a large department and we sure could use an airplane. Can we get one through FEPP?
A. While there are many aircraft on loan to State Foresters for their fire programs, program regulations prohibit the sub-loan of aircraft to local departments.
Q. Can we get fire trucks? Structural fire trucks, that is?
A. Most of the trucks we acquire from the military are cargo trucks or other general-purpose vehicles. Most require extensive rehabilitation prior to seeing use in the fire service, and most are converted to wildland fire rigs. Occasionally a structural truck is available, but not often. When they are, we can obtain them, provided the acquisition is compatible with the State's program.
Q. Who is the Forest Service contact for