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Good Neighbor Authority

The Good Neighbor Authority allows the Forest Service to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with States and Puerto Rico to allow the States to perform watershed restoration and forest management services on National Forest System (NFS) lands. Congress passed two laws expanding Good Neighbor Authority (GNA): the FY 2014 Appropriations Act and the 2014 Farm Bill. Each law contains slightly different versions.

  • The Farm Bill permanently authorizes the Good Neighbor Authority for both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) extending it to all 50 States and Puerto Rico. It excludes construction, reconstruction, repair, or restoration of paved or permanent roads or parking areas and construction, alteration, repair, or replacement of public buildings or works; as well as projects in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, and lands where removal of vegetation is prohibited or restricted.
  • The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Appropriations Act included a five-year authorization for the use of GNA in all states with NFS lands to perform watershed restoration and protection services on NFS and BLM lands when similar and complementary services are performed by the state on adjacent state or private lands. Other than the adjacency requirement, there were no exclusions as to type or location of work.

Good Neighbor Agreement Questions and Comments (PDF, 182 KB)

The agreement templates that will be used to carry out projects under the GNA were subject to approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The PRA process provided opportunities for the Forest Service to develop and improve the agreement templates with our state forestry and other partners. The following agreement templates have been approved for use with states to implement projects under GNA:

FS-1500-36: Good Neighbor Agreement (The Farm Bill Authority) under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No. 10.691 (PDF, 376 KB)

Description: Standalone instrument incorporating a Statement of Work (SOW) and Financial Plan allowing authorized forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services under one agreement.

Authorized Activities: Only authorized forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services are allowed under this SPA which includes activities to treat insect and disease infected trees; activities to reduce hazardous fuels; and any other activities to restore or improve forest, rangeland, and watershed health, including fish, and wildlife habit. Services not allowed under this agreement include construction, reconstruction, repair, or restoration of paved or permanent roads or parking areas and construction, alteration, repair, or replacement of public buildings or works; as well as projects in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, and lands where removal of vegetation is prohibited or restricted. Temporary roads necessary to complete restoration or improvement work are allowed.

FS-1500-36a: Master Good Neighbor Agreement (The Farm Bill Authority) under CDFA No. 10.691 (PDF, 170 KB)

Description: Non-Obligating master agreement instrument incorporating the general terms and framework of the collaborative arrangement. Supplemental Project Agreements may be executed under this master agreement (see below).

FS-1500-36b: Supplemental Project Agreements under CDFA No. 10.691 (PDF, 416 KB)

Description: Obligating Good Neighbor Agreement, executed under the terms and conditions of the master agreement, incorporating specific project roles and responsibilities, statement of work(s), financial plan(s), reporting requirements, payment provisions, and other conditional provisions necessary to complete work on and off NFS lands. This allows flexibility to incorporate large, medium, and small projects under the master agreement. Timber Sales and other authorized services are allowed under this instrument, and require inclusion of Appendices D and E. Any income generated as a result of this agreement is considered program income and shall be applied using the additive alternative as described in 2 CFR 400.307.

Authorized Activities: Only authorized forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services are allowed under this SPA which includes activities to treat insect and disease infected trees; activities to reduce hazardous fuels; and any other activities to restore or improve forest, rangeland, and watershed health, including fish, and wildlife habit. Services not allowed under this SPA includes construction, reconstruction, repair, or restoration of paved or permanent roads or parking areas and construction, alteration, repair, or replacement of public buildings or works; as well as projects in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, and lands where removal of vegetation is prohibited or restricted. Temporary roads necessary to complete restoration or improvement work are allowed. Timber Sales are allowable activities under this instrument provided that the Forest Service retains responsibility for approval of silviculture prescription and marking guides.

FS-1500-37: Good Neighbor Agreement (The FY14 Appropriations Act Authority) under CDFA No. 10.TBD (PDF, 232 KB)

Description: Standalone instrument incorporating a Statement of Work (SOW) and Financial Plan allowing agreements with State foresters in all states with NFS lands to perform watershed restoration and protection services on NFS lands when similar and complementary services are performed by the state on adjacent state or private lands. All agreements will have expiration dates no later than September 30, 2018.

Authorized Activities: Allowable activities include reconstruction, repair, or restoration of paved or permanent roads or parking areas and alteration, repair, or replacement of public works. Timber Sales are not incorporated under the standalone instrument and must be executed in a SPA under Master Good Neighbor Agreement (See above).

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