There are many benefits available from Stewardship Contracting in Southeast Alaska. These include:
- Bundling of various service work projects and timber harvest projects to achieve restoration goals for added agency and contractor/business efficiency.
- Allowing timber receipts generated from the contract to be retained for use on other stewardship projects in the forest.
- Requiring the use of “Best Value” contracting, which allows for evaluation of proposals based on criteria other than just price, such as commitment to hire locally
- Requiring collaboration, which allows input from local communities on project design and on how retained receipts are spent.
- Allowing for long term contracts that can reduce investment risk and provide more business flexibility.
- Allowing for the use of “designation by description”, such as the Forest Service describing the trees it wants removed without needing to mark trees for removal, and “designation by prescription”(where the Forest Service describes the end result expected on the ground, allowing the contractor to propose the method to achieve the results. These tools can add efficiency and cost savings to project implementation.
If Stewardship Contracting is re-authorized by Congress, communities and projects in the Tongass National Forest can continue to benefit from this contracting tool.