Clearwater Stewardship Contract

Seeley Lake Ranger District
Lolo National Forest

The title frame of the Clearwater Stewardship Project video. Links to the video are at the bottom of this page.

The Clearwater Stewardship Project, on the Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest, is one of the nation's first stewardship contracts. It was designed to test "best value" awarding, designation by description, retention of receipts, exchange of goods for services and m multiyear contracts.

  • Clearwater Project (PDF, 163 KB) - a briefing paper about one of four pilot projects authorized on the Lolo National Forest in Montana.
  • Clearwater Stewardship Project (.wmv) - a 10-minute video produced about the Clearwater Stewardship Project, in Microsoft Media Player format.

Stewardship contracting has provided the Forest Service and BLM with new ways to accomplish necessary work- utilizing receipts from timber sales to apply directly to activities in the field. Activities might include forest restoration work, road maintenance, recreation management, water quality improvements, and wildlife habitat improvements.

The new procedures also permit the government to award stewardship contracts based on "best value" instead of price alone. These provisions can provide preference to bidders that operate in depressed localities, or possess specialized skills and experience necessary for the job.

Land Management Accomplishments

  • Select cutting/thinning of timber on 640 acres;
  • 12.6 miles of roadside noxious weed treatments;
  • Installation of 7 small to moderate sized bridges or arch culverts, and one large bridge replacement;
  • Obliteration of about 12.8 miles of system road & removal of 38 miles of other road;
  • Reconstruction of roughly 15 miles of road;
  • Graveling about 2 1/2 miles of road in 5 separate locations;
  • Rerouting an existing segment of road located adjacent to a stream;
  • Rehabilitation of one gravel pit;
  • Removal of 17 old pit toilets and installation of 18 new vault toilets in campgrounds to protect water quality;
  • Installation of 8 picnic tables and fire grates;
  • Reconstruction of Clearwater Lake Trailhead.

Specific Objectives

  • Reduction of road densities and motorized access to improved grizzly bear habitat;
  • Reduction of sediment sources and improvement of water quality in a primary bull trout watershed;
  • Noxious weed treatment; improvement of wildlife habitat through low intensity burning;
  • Lessen susceptibility of lodgepole pine stands to mountain pine beetle mortality; and
  • Contribution to the local economy through job creation.