Stewardship Contracting Champions for 2007 Recognized
There are many examples of successful use of stewardship contracting authorities in the Forest Service. Successes include increased use to meet land management objectives, increased local community support through collaboration and partnerships, improved integration of program areas through leadership, contributions to local economies, and demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness. Common to successes across the National Forest System are champions for stewardship contracting. Earlier this year, four champions were recognized for their efforts.
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was recognized as the Partner Champion. The NWTF is among the national leaders in partnerships with the Forest Service in the use of stewardship contracts and agreements. Their stewardship projects cover a diverse range of activities. The NWTF has completed vegetation management such as timber harvest, reforestation, forest vegetation improvement, aspen management, and cedar removal. Wildlife habitat improvements consist of prescribed burning, wildlife opening enhancements, mid-story removal within red-cockaded woodpecker habitat management areas, oak-pine woodland restoration, installing gates to control access, bald eagle nesting habitat improvement, and installation of fish structures. They have conducted vegetation treatments to reduce fuels and to treat non-native invasive species.
The Eldorado National Forest (Region 5) was recognized as the National Forest Champion. The Eldorado was among the national leaders with twenty approved projects and nineteen awarded contracts through FY 2007. The purposes of their stewardship projects were to:
- Reduce potential wildfire intensity and behavior across the landscape over time by performing fuels treatments designed to change existing forest surface, ladder, and crown fuel profiles;
- Increase stand vigor and resistance to mortality from insect and disease; and
- Treat hazardous fuels in a cost-effective manner to maximize program effectiveness while providing a wood supply for local manufacturers.
Pat Ferrell (Region 5, Eldorado National Forest) was recognized as one of the Employee Champions. Pat routinely travels to other National Forests in the Region to assist in expanding stewardship contracting use based on her successes. She frequently provides presentations at Regional and National conferences, workshops, and field trips. Her leadership has brought the local timber industry along from a reluctant participator to a major player in the Eldorado National Forest’s fuels and forest health program. Pat is instrumental in fostering a climate of trust and cooperation among stakeholders. She influences successful integration of fuels and vegetation management programs on the Eldorado National Forest using stewardship contracting.
Jon Dent (Region 8, Francis Marion, & Sumter National Forest) was recognized as one of the Employee Champions. Jon assisted the national stewardship coordinators with development of national training materials for acquisition/timber contracting officers and account managers. He was coordinated with the National Wild Turkey Federation in development of their Annual Operating Plans for the stewardship agreement that was signed in 2007. Jon ensures that district personnel have a clear understanding of the proper preparation and administration of stewardship contracts. He provides information at district and public meetings about stewardship contracts and the best value determination award process. Jon helps the Forest use retained receipts and exchanging goods for services to restore wildlife habitat.