Case in Point: Stewardship Contracting
Stewardship contracting is probably an important opportunity for the Forest Service to play a role in community and forest restoration in the long term. While few substantial examples of stewardship contracting are taking place in association with FCSFP projects, other parts of the country do have a record of accomplishment that can be examined for transferability (see www.thewatershedcenter.org/stewpilot/. For example, the framework for the Siuslaw Basin Rehabilitation Stewardship project, located on the Mapleton Ranger District of the Siuslaw NF offers an example of how stewardship contracting could be approached. Its website lists and describes: Purpose; Goals and Objectives (social, economic, social and administrative); Authorities Being Tested; Accomplishments; Multi-party Monitoring; and a Business Plan. Thirteen projects are described in the website. Most have developed detailed plans that frame activities. What is significant is how specific and traceable the goals and objectives are.
The section Authorities Being Tested offers an environment in which a Forest Service role can be examined and explored. Multi-party Monitoring, while not an authority per se, is another area of participation for which the Forest Service may be best suited to play a role in implementing. The agency may be an important facilitator of multi-party monitoring, which quickly becomes complex and intricate. The sheer number of items that can be monitored is vast, such as those suggested in the Guidebook for Multiparty Monitoring for Sustainable Natural Resource Management (Collaborative Forest Restoration Program Jan. 2004; http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/spf/cfrp/monitoring/).