Stewardship contracting (SC) is an important tool that allows the Forest Service to meet both land management and rural community needs. The intent of this type of contracting is to accomplish land management objectives with a focus on restoring lost or reduced resource services. Collaboration is a required component of SC project planning and continues throughout the life of the project. Best value is the basis of each SC award, meaning that the Forest Service can offer work not simply based on price, but on best value to the government, including non-price criteria. Non-price criteria can include, but are not limited to: past performance, work experience, and benefits to the local community such as preferences for utilizing local businesses, workers, and suppliers.
Stewardship contracts have several potential benefits for the Forest Service, communities, and businesses that traditional timber sales and service contracts do not have, such as retained receipts. Retained receipts are generated from the sale of “goods”, usually timber, and can be used to offset the cost of restoration “services”.
Integrated Resource Timber Contracts (IRTC) are stewardship contracts where the receipts generated from the timber sale component are expected to exceed the cost of the service component. Integrated Resource Service Contracts (IRSC) are stewardship contracts where the service work is expected to cost more money than the timber sale will generate. Standard Service Contracts can also be used in stewardship contracting. Stewardship contracting and use of retained receipts can only be used within Stewardship Areas designated by the Regional Forester.
The legislation that authorizes stewardship contracting expires on September 30, 2013. Congressional action is needed for reauthorization. There are several benefits of stewardship contracting for Southeast Alaska.