USDA Forest Service

Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment


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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: If at First You Don't Succeed…

USDA Forest Service employees in the Alaska Region believe it is important to support the communities that surround Alaska 's two National Forests. With this as their mission, the Chugach National Forest decided to help local students by making their surplused personal computers, peripherals, and cables available for re-use.

The Forest Service uses a Working Capital Fund (WCF), which specifically requires that we sell any outdated equipment that falls under that program. The idea is to recoup the salvage value of the equipment, returning any receipts to assist in making the fund self-sufficient. While this plan may work fine for the trucks and passenger vehicles, it falls short in the case of computers, which are practically outdated before they are taken out of the box. In fact, the Chugach's 2001 computer sale reported a net loss after factoring in the costs of holding the sale! The Chugach National Forest felt there must be a better way to run a business and so began the search for an alternative to their dilemma.

Although the 1996 Computers for Learning Program allows agencies to donate PC equipment directly to schools and educational nonprofit organizations, the Forest Service had not participated. It seemed that Forest Service staff held firm to the WCF rule that equipment should be sold, not given away. But, after several phone calls and months of waiting, the Chugach was given authority to donate their used computers.

After checking with several schools in the area, the computers and peripherals found a new home. The Muldoon Elementary School and the IDEA Home School , both in Anchorage , and the Lake & Peninsula School District received desktop PCs, laptops, scanners, printers, and miscellaneous cables, and keyboards through the efforts of a few determined Forest Service employees.

The Chugach has since developed an ongoing list of computer needs by school district. With this system in place, surplus computers not needed by other federal or state offices can now be transferred immediately to one of the local schools. This process saves storage costs for the Chugach National Forest , gets computers to the schools while they are still useful, and reduces the staff time required to move the computers from office areas to storage units.

Through the efforts of serving the local communities, the Chugach National Forest not only made their own lives a little easier, but found great satisfaction in being good neighbors.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST

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