This US Forest Service - Private Public Partnership guide was recently removed from the internet.

It has been restored, courtesy of Wild Wilderness.

When you read this, pay special attention to the cozy relationship between the National Forest Foundation and the US Forest Service. There is a reason for this, and it is not necessarily in your best interest.

1997 Partnership Guide

USDA Forest Service
June, 1997 Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Definition Of A Partnership
Evaluating The Project As A Potential Partner
Evaluation Questions
Process For Selecting Appropriate Partnership Instruments
Key Issues
Acknowledgment Vs Endorsement
International Participation
Solicitation Of Money
Gifts/Donations Vs Contributions
Nonprofit Organizations
Agency Ethics And Conflict Of Interest
Personal Ethics And Conflict Of Interest
Appendix A: General Authorities
Forest Service Manual 1580 External Relations Chapter 1580 - Grants, Cooperative Agreements, & Other Agreements
1580 1 Authority
1580 11 Government-Wide Use
1580 12 - Service-Wide Use
Appendix B: Role Of Partnerships And Authorities
State And Private Forestry
International Forestry
National Forest Systems
Public Affairs Office
National Forest Foundation


Partnerships are plain smart management. They are a vital means of achieving goals; goals that might not be achieved by the Forest Service, alone. Partnerships are also the foundation for productive, sustained relationships. They develop a knowledgeable, supportive constituency. In all senses, they enhance the ability of the Forest Service to accomplish our mission, goals, and objectives.

Partnerships make economic, social, political, and ecological sense; as long as they are done legally and under proper authority. That is what this guide is all about.


Partnerships are an essential way of doing business in the Forest Service. This publication is written for employees who work or want to work with other people or organizations to accomplish common objectives. We have written this as a guide to help you -- Forest Service employees -- decide if a formal partnership or cooperative activity is appropriate for the objectives you are setting, decide what kind of agreement is appropriate, and be aware of issues you may face in entering into such a relationship.

A 1994 review of the National Forest Systems' partnership program outlined a need to "develop uniform standards, streamline procedures, and draft umbrella agreements" for partnerships. This guide is the beginning of a process to improve our partnership program and make it consistent across the Forest Service.

This guide is a synthesis of information from a number of sources including the Forest Service Manual and Handbook, various regulations and other authorities. It will give you answers to some questions on issues related to partnerships, like acknowledgements vs. endorsements, the image of the Agency, use of symbols, soliciting money, the differences between gifts/donations and contributions, working with nonprofit organizations, agency and personal ethics and conflicts of interest.

To form a successful partnership, the agency and potential partners must have a common understanding of what a partnership should and should not include. The Forest Service is authorized by legislation to conduct certain programs. These legislative authorities define the agency's mission and allowable activities. Some of these legislative authorities place significant constraints on what the agency and its employees can do.

We are charged with maintaining the public trust, both in the stewardship of public lands and in conducting public business. In doing so, we must consider the need to be fair to all, preclude conflicts of interest (either apparent or real), and allow others to participate in similar activities associated with the agency. These are critical concepts in considering the viability of a partnership.

This guide may not answer all of your questions about partnerships. The philosophy of creating and managing partnerships continues to evolve. No two partnership opportunities are the same. And although consistency with the Forest Service mission and traditions is important, times change. New trends, conditions, and ways of doing business become the norm. It is equally important to ask questions and customize the way we do business with others -- within legal bounds -- to stay in tune with these changes. Your grants and agreements staff can help you choose the appropriate paths to achieve your goals.

This is a process and we continue to learn. We will update this guide as needed -- as thinking, policy, and times change and information is added, revised, or clarified. We welcome concerns and questions and ways to improve.


A partnership is not itself a goal, but rather a means of achieving a goal. It is a voluntary, mutually beneficial, and desired arrangement entered into between the Forest Service and another or others to accomplish mutually agreed-upon objectives that is consistent with the agency's mission and serves the public interest. The Forest Service Manual (FSM 1580.1) gives us authority to develop the concept of partnerships and specific types of agreements (see FSM 1580). We use it here in a broad sense to include different kinds of relationships, rather than a legal definition of partnerships.

Because mutual benefit is a required criterion for a partnership, we consider the following transactions as "partnerships:" Challenge Cost-Share, Joint Venture, Cost Reimbursable, Interpretive Association and Participating agreements. A partnership may also include financial assistance such as grants and cooperative agreements, where the result fulfills mutually desired goals for public benefit.

In this guide, we use the term partner only to refer to anyone we have formal partnership agreement with.

Permittees, Licensees, and Contractors

Relationships based on special use permits, licenses, or contracts are not, in and of themselves, considered partnerships as defined in this guide. However, if there is no conflict of interest or connection to their authorization and where they share common goals and motivations with the Forest Service, permittees, contractors, or licensees may enter into separate partnership agreements with the Forest Service. At that point they are considered partners for the activities discussed in the partnership agreement.

A partnership should include:

1. A written agreement between the parties.

2. Mutual interest in, mutual benefits from, or mutually desired goals of a common objective related to the mission of the agency.

3. Appropriate legal authority.

4. Voluntary participation.

5. Consistency with agency plans, policies, and priorities.

6. Evident public benefit.

7. A realistic timeframe with sufficient lead time to acquire funding, materials, and necessary approvals.

A partnership should NOT:

1. Establish a conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest or show preferential treatment of one entity over another.

2. Endorse commercial products, services, or entities.

3. Circumvent applicable legal requirements in areas such as procurement, personnel, labor laws, printing and publishing, audiovisual production, and issuance of special-use permits.

4. Be used to transfer Federal funding to third parties for purposes that are not otherwise authorized for the Forest Service to do directly. This does not limit the authorized role of the NFF and other nonprofit organizations whose charters are consistent with the various missions of the Forest Service.

5. In certain circumstances, predominantly State and Private Forestry Research, laws authorize us to support private sector's and others' products. The results of these projects culminate in marketable products for sale to the public for profit (such as wood utilization, rural community assistance, economic assistance, and technology transfer).

6. Market or promote any of the partners in any way, except in matters factually related to the partnership agreement.

Who Is Responsible for the Partnership Guide

The Director of the national Property and Procurement Staff is responsible for keeping this document current and for decisions that the Forest Service may have to make on partnership issues. The Director will convene the standing team on partnerships for technical work as it arises. The Director will pass decisions through the Deputy Chief for Administration when these decisions affect line officers and staff.

Working with the National Forest Foundation

Congress gave the National Forest Foundation special authority as the official nonprofit partner of the Forest Service. Its primary objectives include helping to develop public-private partnerships to achieve mutual interests, and providing private investment in public service and resources. As such we have included information on working with the NFF and on their role in partnerships throughout this guide.


You have an idea: A project lends itself to working with others; for example, an organization has interest in working with you or a project needs to be accomplished and not enough funds are available. By working the following processes, you should know whether your idea has potential as a partnership activity, what the pitfalls may be, and what appropriate partnership instrument should be used.

If at any point you need further clarification and help, contact your grants and agreements specialists.


The following questions should be answered before entering a cooperative venture. Each question references a location in the document that will give clues to whether or not it is appropriate to enter into a partnership agreement. However, to ensure that developing a partnership is the appropriate action to take, it is essential to be familiar with the entire document.

1. Does the cooperative activity further the Forest Service's land and service ethics? Does the cooperative activity conflict with Forest Service civil rights policies?

See Agency Ethics discussion, page 24.

2. Does this cooperative activity contribute to achieving our mission of "caring for the land and serving people"?

If your answer is NO, then drop the project, or else reshape or fine tune it so the answer becomes YES.

3. Does this cooperative activity provide clear and accomplishable mutual benefits that support the missions of the Forest Service and cooperator(s)?

See Definitions discussion, page 8, on mutual benefits.

4. Does the activity fall within the legal authorities outlined in FSM 1580?

See Appendix, FSM 1580, page 28.

5. Does there appear to be any conflict of interest between the partner and the agency? Am I conveying preferential treatment of this partner over another?

See Agency and Personal Ethics and Conflict of Interest sections, pages 24 and 27.

6. Does the potential partner or activity raise any questions of ethics?

See Agency and Personal Ethics and Conflict of Interest sections, pages 24 and 27.

7. Is the potential partner from another country?

See International Participation section, page 16.

8. Do I have the funds, time, and people to fulfill my end of the partnership?

Unless you have enough time and people, drop the activity. If you do not have enough funds, either seek them or drop the activity; see Solicitation of Money and Gifts/Donations vs. Contributions sections, pages 17 and 21.

9. Does the cooperator request acknowledgment of the partnership? If so, is it clear that it is an acknowledgment of the contribution to the project or event, and not an endorsement?

See Acknowledgment vs. Endorsement section, page 13.

10. Does the cooperator seek to use Forest Service symbols?

See Symbols section, page 18.

11. Will you use both Federal and non-Federal funds to accomplish these activities?

See Solicitation of Money, Gifts/Donations vs. Contributions, and NFF and Other Non-profit Organizations sections, pages 17, 21, and 23.

12. Does this make sense now? Is anything happening in relation to the organization or in the current political or social climate that makes this unwise to do now?

If something is happening in the current climate to make this unwise, look for another alternative.

13. Does this promote a positive image for the Forest Service?

See Key Issues section, page 11.


The following questions and answers relate directly to the flowchart that follows this section. Read through the questions and answers and definitions. Then follow the flowchart, answering at each box "yes" or "no" to find if the appropriate instrument is a procurement contract, federal financial assistance (FFA), or another agreement as spelled out in the definitions that follow.

How do I decide what kind of partnership instrument to use?

The instrument you choose depends upon the circumstances. For example, if an individual or entity wants to make a donation, a thank you letter may suffice. Volunteer agreements should be used whenever free labor is the sole value transferred from a partner to the Forest Service. When the transfer of property and/or money is contemplated, choosing an appropriate instrument becomes more complex. Allow the following three questions to guide you:

1. Is there a deliverable?

2. Who is providing the funding?

3. Who directly benefits from the work and needs the work done?

See your grants and agreements specialists to answer additional questions and for guidance and consult FSM 1580 and 1509.11.

Is there a Deliverable?

The flowchart shown in figure 1 starts with this question. The answer determines whether you should choose a procurement contract or other agreement, or Federal Financial Assistance (FFA) in the form of a grant or cooperative agreement. (See FAA definition, next page.)

If you contemplate receiving a deliverable, such as maintenance of 20 miles of trail, follow the "YES" line to the next question. If no deliverable is contemplated, you may consider FFA in the form of a grant or cooperative agreement used to support others' activities for the public good. Specific authority and, in some cases, specific appropriations are needed to enter into these transactions. It would not be appropriate under these transactions for the Forest Service to receive a product, service, or any property to satisfy its direct needs.

Who Provides the Funding? And Who Benefits?

Now that you've decided a deliverable can be contemplated, ask yourself who is funding the project and who directly benefits from its completion. If the Forest Service is covering all or nearly all of the costs of the project, the appropriate instrument to choose will always be a procurement contract, regardless of whether mutual benefit exists. If you are lucky enough to receive all the funding in the form of a contribution for a project, a collection agreement would be appropriate, and the work could be done through contracting procedures or by our own work force.

Where one or more parties contemplate sharing resources to complete a project, another agreement, such as Challenge Cost-Share, could be considered, but only if the test of mutual benefit and other specific criteria germane to Challenge Cost-Share are met. If the mutual-benefit test is not met, a procurement contract would be appropriate.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU's) may only be used to document cooperative relationships. Memoranda of Understanding may not be executed to transfer anything of value and are nonbinding.


Procurement Contract- A written instrument between the Forest Service and a non-Federal party, the principal purpose of which is to document the acquisition by the Forest Service, by purchase or lease, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Forest Service.

Federal Financial Assistance (FFA)- If there is specific authority and appropriated funds for its use, an FFA transaction in the form of a grant or cooperative agreement should be used, depending upon the degree of Forest Service involvement. Grants and cooperative agreements are primarily available to be used with Research, S&PF, and IF appropriations to transfer a thing of value to support or stimulate others activities for the public benefit, not to receive a deliverable (that is, a product or service) for direct Forest Service benefit. A grant and cooperative agreement are essentially the same, except that a grant is appropriate where the Forest Service is not substantially involved, and a cooperative agreement is appropriate where the Forest Service is substantially involved.

Other Agreement-Transactions authorized by legislative statutes not specifically defined as procurement or FFA, but that take on the characteristics of both, such as Challenge Cost-Share, Participating, Joint Venture, and Cost-Reimbursement agreements. The Forest Service and the cooperator(s) will share mutual interests and benefit in the same qualitative way from the objective of the agreement, and will share resources to accomplish the task.

Deliverable-Product, or property received as a result of a specific transaction to be used by the Forest Service to satisfy a direct Forest Service need. A deliverable would not include, for example, a performance report due under an FFA transaction.

Mutual Interests and Shared Benefits-Primary criteria for entering into other agreements. Mutual interests are those interests common to both parties that relate to the accomplishment of their respective missions. Shared benefits exist when both the Forest Service and the cooperator share in the results of an undertaking in the same qualitative way, such When the result is used by both parties to accomplish their respective, common missions. Because the Forest Service does not have a profit-oriented mission, it would be inappropriate to enter into another agreement where the cooperator's direct benefit would further its monetary interests.

Forest Service Funding-Funds appropriated to the Forest Service, or received by the Forest Service, for example: K-V (Knutson-Vanderberg Act), BD (Brush Disposal) funds; recreation fee collection costs.



Key issues and concerns that routinely surface during partnership work are discussed below. An overview of each issue and a definition are followed by a guide on what employees can and cannot do using existing agency authorities.


The issue of image permeates all aspects of cooperative activities. As we strive to remain one of the world's foremost conservation agencies, it is important that we maintain high standards of professionalism and that the public perceives us as being committed to professional management of our natural resources.

We will be successful when the outcomes of our actions are healthy ecosystems; vital communities; an effective, multidisciplinary, multicultural organization; and public acceptance of the Forest Service as a premier conservation agency. These accomplishments will assure a positive image.

Our image is enhanced when we select partners who have objectives seen by the public as overlapping with or complementary to ours, and who complete projects seen by the public as beneficial.

Our image is not enhanced if the public perceives the action as a form of agency aggrandizement (ego building), and as a means in itself to enhance our power, funding, or position.

In other words, we cannot do anything to make ourselves appear great or greater than anyone else through comparisons (or perceived comparisons) between ourselves and others; and we cannot lobby to enhance our power, funding or position. Nor can we ask our partners to do any of these things for us. Let the public make its own comparisons and draw its own conclusions.

What we can do:

*We can give factual information and ask our partners to give factual information.

Example: We can say that the Forest Service manages more elk habitat than any other landowner or manager in the United States.

*We can talk about natural resources in the superlative, and have others do so too.

Example: We can say that the snow-capped mountains on the Wasatch Cache National Forest are some of the most spectacular in the country.

*We can talk about the way we manage the agency, in terms of our mission.

Example: We can say that our clear and consistent vision promotes commitment and teamwork in managing our natural resources.

What we CANNOT do:

-We cannot use superlatives where comparison is real or implied, or ask our partners to do so in describing our agency.

Example: We cannot say that the Forest Service is the most remarkable natural resource agency in the Federal Government, filled with the most beautiful, morally superior, magnificent green warriors.

What the NFF was set up to do:

The NFF can promote the Forest Service's image consistent with our agency's mission and direction.


The dictionary defines acknowledgment as recognition or favorable notice of an act or achievement and defines endorsement as approval or sanction.

Agency Endorsement

Department Regulation 1400-10) requires agencies to avoid endorsement of any commercially named product. In general, this prohibits reference to specific commercial enterprises or to proprietary or brand names of commercial products in interviews and addresses, in printed or duplicated material issued by USDA or its agencies, in information to be used for publication, or in visual or sound materials.

To carry out its broad responsibilities, USDA often works independently or cooperatively with commercial products and cooperates with commercial enterprises. On occasion, mention of specific commercial enterprises or reference to commercial products by proprietary or brand names may be in the public interest or impractical to remove or avoid.

Employee Endorsement

Employees will not allow use of their names to endorse commercial enterprises or products (see Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 7 CFR 0.735 13(a)(6)).

Justification of References

If reference(s) must be made to specific commercial enterprises or to proprietary or brand names of commercial products, the reference(s) must be certified by the agency information director as in the public interest.

This means that:

*The agency may acknowledge the contributions of a partner in an officially approved, mutually beneficial partnership.

*A partner may acknowledge the contributions of the agency in an officially approved, mutually beneficial partnership.

What we can do:

*We can acknowledge the partnership and the contributions of the partner.

Examples: We can say that a given trailhead is maintained under a voluntary agreement by employees of XYZ Equipment Company in partnership with the Forest Service.

We can say that this trail has been reconstructed with contributions donated by XYZ Equipment Company, in partnership with the Forest Service.

We can make the following type of community news release: Newton County, Arkansas, just published an Economic Diversity Study funded by a grant from the USDA Forest Service and the Newton County Resource Council. The local action team, with assistance from the Ozark St. Francis National Forest, the Chamber of Commerce, VISTA volunteers and AAA Ecotours, will provide training and work with local people to implement the study.

*The Forest Service can suggest that someone interested in getting involved contact the local community group with that responsibility.

What we CANNOT do:

-The Forest Service cannot promote any local community partner or business for its contributions to a given project. The Forest Service cannot recommend any local organization or businesses.

Examples: We cannot say that the Forest Service promotes XYZ Equipment Company for its volunteer assistance in maintaining a given trailhead.

We cannot say that the Forest Service recommends XYZ because they contributed to the reconstruction of this trail.

We cannot say that firefighter Gina Johns uses Nasal Bliss whenever she's fighting fire and feels a cold coming on.

What the NFF was set up to do:

One critical role of the NFF is to encourage, accept, and administer private gifts of money for the benefit of, or in connection with, the activities of the Forest Service. As such, the NFF can accept donations and acknowledge contributions from partners who may not share goals with the Forest Service or benefit directly from its activities, but might benefit indirectly through the favorable publicity of being associated with a good cause.


We can say that a given trail has been reconstructed through funds from the National Forest Foundation and its partnership with You Name It Corporation.

We can say that a given grove of trees was planted through funds from the National Forest Foundation and its partnership with International Society of Arborists, Chervil-Geod Enviro Intl., QQQ Food Stores, and Uninvited Card Company.


The International Forestry Cooperation Act of 1990 as amended, 16 U.S.C. 4501 provides the Secretary of Agriculture with broad authorities to cooperate with other countries and with domestic or international organizations to promote sustainable development and global environmental stability.

In general, delegations of authority within the Forest Service are the same for international cooperation as they are for domestic cooperation. However, before entering into any international agreement there may be a need for Department of State review. Once this has been accomplished, Regional Foresters and Directors of Stations, Institutes, and Areas are authorized to sign international grants and agreements.

What we can do:

*A Forest Service field unit may enter into an agreement with another country, or with a domestic or international organization, in accordance with guidelines in Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1509.11 Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements Handbook. Chapter 73 of the handbook includes an example of a cooperative agreement with a foreign entity. Authority to sign such agreements has been delegated to Regional Foresters and to Station, Institute, and Area Directors, as well as to the Deputy Chief for IF and IF Staff Directors.

*Deputy Chiefs, Regional Foresters, and Station, Institute, and Area directors may authorize Forest Service employees to travel to other countries to engage in cooperative work. A formal cooperative agreement is not required unless there is a transfer of funds between countries or between the Forest Service and another organization.

*Forest Service units may host international visitors and engage in training, assistance, or cooperative research, as long as the visitor holds a visa that is appropriate for the visit. It is recommended that such visits be documented in advance, such as through an exchange of letters. Procedures are outlined in the International Visitors Guide maintained by the international visitors coordinator for each region, station, institute, and area, and by IF in the Washington Office (WO).

What we CANNOT do:

-An individual unit of the Forest Service should never enter into an MOU with a foreign entity, such accords should be agency-wide agreements. The Forest Service unit desiring to enter into a MOU with another country should consult with International Forestry. Again, many MOU's also require State Department clearance.

-By law, the Forest Service is prohibited from working in countries where USAID has an active program, without prior clearance from USAID. This clearance should be coordinated through IF.


Employees of the Forest Service may not solicit money from sources outside the Forest Service for Forest Service benefit.

The Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR O.735 11(b)(9), prohibits Federal Government employees from soliciting money from people outside the Government for the benefit of any organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because we may not do indirectly what we are prohibited from doing directly, authorizing other organizations to solicit on our behalf is also prohibited. One exception is the NFF, which has statutory authority to solicit funding for any Forest Service activity.

What we can do:

*The Forest Service and interpretive associations can use donation boxes to collect money.

*We can have the NFF solicit for specific needs of the Forest Service.

*We can talk to representatives of organizations about sharing resources, including money, where we are likely to consummate a cost-sharing agreement and share in the benefits of the results of a specific project.

*Where authorized under a specific cost-share agreement, we can accept contributions from nonprofit organizations other than NFF, where such funding was originally solicited for the nonprofit organization's activities.

*When working with a community under S&PF authorities (such as Urban and Community Forestry, Rural Community Assistance, or Economic Assistance), projects and local initiatives may be proposed that require solicitation of funds by the community. Forest Service employees may assist the community in designing a donation program, building a "matching fund" for grants, or pursuing other activities as part of planning or project implementation.

*Employees may help communities write grant proposals, may conduct or coordinate training sessions on fund raising and grant writing, and may engage in other activities aimed at helping the community raise funds for their efforts.

What we CANNOT do:

-We cannot print and distribute brochures or other materials asking organizations, corporations, and others for donations, or authorize others, except the NFF, to do this for us.

-We cannot use appropriated funding to contract for someone to solicit funding on our behalf, nor can we authorize someone to use our name to solicit funding and keep a proportionate share of that funding for payment of services. However, the NFF solicit funding on our behalf.


Symbols, including insignia, uniforms, Smokey Bear, and Woodsy Owl,visually represent the Forest Service. They set us apart and represent our value, identity, and mission of caring for the land and serving people.

The Forest Service shield is our official insignia and identifies all on which it appears as belonging to the Forest Service.

The Forest Service uniform is also viewed as insignia for the agency, with the same visual importance as the shield. If it is appropriate to display the shield, it is also appropriate or acceptable to show a person in uniform.

The Forest Service has many other symbols used as artwork to identify programs, units, or activities, such as the "Conservation Leader" symbol.

Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are symbols with special functions and authorities designated by law.

Public Service Use

*Forest Service employees and volunteers can use insignia, including uniforms, for educational, noncommercial (not-for-profit) purposes, without charge, when their use contributes to knowledge and understanding of the agency, its mission, and its objectives.

*Permit holders and official partners can use the Forest Service shield to acknowledge their relationship with the Forest Service when its use contributes to knowledge and understanding of the agency, its mission, and its objectives. No endorsement may be implied in the way the shield or uniformed employee is displayed, or in the nature of the context, description, or communication. However, the use for educational purposes of agency symbols in connection with a commercial product may be appropriate in accordance with the terms of an official agreement.

For example, it is appropriate to attach agency symbols with a conservation education message on a temporary tag hanging on recreation equipment, but permanently attaching the symbol on recreation equipment or garments is a commercial use that requires a license.

*Woodsy Owl can be used in the same way, as long as his context is also maintained to promote wise uses of the environment. State Foresters are authorized to use Woodsy Owl (April 4, 1990 Memorandum of Understanding between the Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters).

*Smokey Bear is to be used only in the context of wildfire prevention. Uses should be coordinated through regional fire prevention representatives to ensure that conflicts are avoided with ongoing national, international, and interagency projects. State Foresters are authorized to use Smokey Bear (18 USC 711 and 16 USC 580).

*Other symbols represent the Forest Service or parts of the Forest Service as much as the shield and uniform do. Although we only license the shield, Smokey Bear, and Woodsy Owl, other agency symbols should be used in the same limited ways the shield is used. Their use should enhance and promote the agency's mission.


The shield can be printed on a program for a dedication ceremony when the agency participates in but does not sponsor the event.

The shield can be printed on business cards for employees, at employees' expense.

The shield can be used by another party on conservation education materials as long as we have executed the proper agreements with the other party.

Smokey Bear can be exhibited only at events that focus on outdoor fire safety or wildland fire prevention.

In an advertisement for an outfitter and guide who operates on the national forest, a Forest Service shield is displayed with accompanying words "Caring for the land and serving people."

As a Forest Service permittee, a ski area can display the Forest Service shield on a sign identifying the ski area, as long as the logo of the ski area is no larger than the Forest Service shield (Standards for Forest Service Signs and Posters, EM 7100 15).

Commercial Use

The Forest Service PAO licenses the use of the shield to for-profit entities for a fee when the use increases recognition of the agency or promotes employees' pride in the organization.

*Commercial uses of Smokey Bear are governed by statute and regulation. Commercial uses must contribute only to public education concerning the prevention of forest fires. For licensing information, contact Cambridge Consulting Corporation, 1410 Springhill Road, Suite 450, McLean, VA.

*Smokey Bear licensing gives preference to manufacturers whose products are relevant to young children, and who can sell and distribute nationwide. For licensing information, contact your regional fire prevention representative or the national manager of the Smokey Bear program, WO Fire and Aviation Management Staff. Unauthorized commercial manufacture, use, or reproduction of the Smokey Bear character or name can be prosecuted.

*The use of Woodsy Owl is licensed through the WO Cooperative Forestry Staff.


The shield can be licensed for use on a toy forest ranger's truck.

The shield can be licensed for use on a belt buckle. With a license, Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl likenesses and messages can be placed on children's products.

A partner can produce advertisement with a conservation education message.

A partner can use agency symbols if the focus of an advertisement is conservation education, America's Great Outdoors, or similar sanctioned agency themes. For example, a car manufacturer can show a Forest Service employee stepping into a vehicle with the shield on the door if the message is, "Take care of America's great outdoors," but not if the message is, "Buy this product."

What we CANNOT do:

-We cannot use symbols to advertise or promote other entities when their use largely or solely benefits other entities and not the Forest Service.

-We cannot agree to a partnership in which a partner's use of a Forest Service symbol may damage the image of the Forest Service.

-We cannot prevent others from using our symbols for political purposes that are protected by the First Amendment.

-We cannot prevent others from making a profit through inappropriate use of our symbols.

-Smokey Bear cannot endorse or support issues or causes other than fire prevention and cannot represent the Forest Service for other causes than fire prevention.

Examples (see also Acknowledgment vs. Endorsement section):

We cannot endorse a person in Forest Service uniform as the central character on a box of cereal.

We cannot license or approve a snowmobile promoted as a special Forest Service model for commercial sale.

We cannot prevent an environmental group from distributing a flier showing the Forest Service shield with a stake through it.


The NFF is authorized to solicit gifts and donations or contributions for the Forest Service. Although the Forest Service is prohibited from soliciting gifts and donations, it is authorized under various statutes to accept gifts and donations or contributions from entities, organizations, and individuals. However, the Forest Service is not authorized to accept a gift or donation from an interested party.

A gift/donation is a voluntary transfer made gratuitously or without consideration (no strings attached) of an item having monetary value.

A contribution is a voluntary transfer for a common purpose, to have a share in any act or effect or to discharge a joint obligation (strings attached), of an item having monetary value.

An interested party is an entity or individual who is or seeks to be engaged in contractual, financial, or business relations with the Forest Service, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance of the official duties of the employee involved in the activity. Interested parties include Forest Service permittees; vendors; bidders and potential bidders on Forest Service timber sales; licensees; and organizations engaging in activities regulated by the Forest Service.

It is proper to discuss projects and related resource contributions with others when the likelihood of consummating a cost-share arrangement is high. Although the Forest Service is prohibited from accepting a gift or donation from an interested party, contributions from interested parties are not prohibited if properly justified. The basic requirement for avoiding conflicts of interest or their appearance is the same for contributions as for gifts and donations.

We must avoid any action adversely affecting public confidence in the integrity of the Forest Service. However, there may be circumstances under which we may enter into bona fide cost-share agreements with interested parties. At a minimum, the substance of such agreements must be unrelated to any existing contractual requirements with the interested parties.

What we can do:

*The Forest Service may accept gifts or donations from those other than interested parties.

*The Forest Service may accept contributions from others, including interested parties, when there is no conflict of interest.

*The Forest Service and interpretive associations can use donation boxes to collect money.

*We can work with the NFF. The NFF may accept gifts and donations from a variety of entities and organizations, including what the Forest Service determines to be interested parties or unauthorized sources, as long as NFF collections from interested parties are used, at the NFF's discretion, to fund Forest Service priority projects.

*We can talk to representatives of organizations about sharing resources, including money, where we are likely to consummate an appropriate cost-sharing agreement.

*A local action team for rural community assistance (which includes a Forest Service representative) can accept gifts, donations, and contributions from diverse groups, for the purpose of developing and implementing the local action plan.

What we CANNOT do:

-We cannot accept a gift or donation from an interested party.

-We cannot accept a contribution from something given or received for something else an entity, individual, or organization if the "quid pro quo" would otherwise be unauthorized (for instance, if the contributor asked that in return, we endorse their product).

-We cannot accept a gift or donation from a source determined by the Chief to be inappropriate, such as a beer or wine maker, especially when the gift or donation is tied to consumption of the source's product. A gift or donation may be acceptable from such a source if it comes from their foundation, and the foundation's mission is similar to ours.


The Forest Service and Nonprofit Organizations

Only the NFF can solicit funds on behalf of the Forest Service for general purposes. Unless officially acting on behalf of the NFF, other nonprofit organizations can only solicit funds for their share of a Forest Service-related project. For example, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance can solicit funds and contribute these funds to the Forest Service as their share of a cooperative activity to plan, construct, and maintain the Continental Divide Trail on national forest lands.

The NFF and Other Nonprofit Organizations

The Forest Service by law has the authority to work directly with the NFF. In time, there will be regional and local units of the NFF that will tie local Forest Service units more closely to the NFF.

The following are examples of ways the NFF will work with these organizations in the future.

*The NFF will work with existing nonprofit organizations with the goal of enhancing their contributions to the Forest Service (e.g., on the San Bernardino National Forest).

*The NFF may help support in establishing nonprofit organizations when their partnership with the Forest Service and the NFF is clearly needed to support the Forest Service (e.g., on the Continental Divide Trail).

*The NFF, as it evolves, will be exploring partnerships with other nonprofit organizations for purposes of fund raising and public-private efforts in support of the Forest Service.

*At the national level, the NFF is already partnering with national nonprofit organizations in support of Forest Service programs and activities. The NFF will continue this national leadership and coordination role for the Forest Service.


Organizational ethics are the core standards on which an organization bases its mission, policies, and management. The Forest Service's land and service ethics act as screens for decisionmaking. They are a baseline below which we as an agency will not go in making decisions. They define the basis for a "partners community": Partnership efforts to support common ethical behaviors and outcomes.

Land Ethic-The Forest Service land ethic promotes the sustainability of ecosystems by ensuring their health, diversity, and productivity. Through ecosystem sustainability, present and future generations will reap the benefits that healthy, diverse, and productive ecosystems provide.

Service Ethic- Our service ethic is to:

*Tell the truth,

*Obey the law,

*Work collaboratively, and

*Use appropriate scientific information in caring for the land and serving people.


Working through ethics requires thought. Answers can be difficult to reach and should not be made simple for simplicity's sake.


If the stated policy or mission of a potential partner is clearly contrary to the ethics of the Forest Service, we will not enter into a partnership with that organization. Agreements may be executed at one agency level, for example locally, where the community context and relationships would not be in opposition to agency ethics, but may not be appropriate at a regional or national scale.

What we can do:

*We can create mutually beneficial partnerships with others whose missions may vary from ours, as long as they are not in conflict with our land and service ethics or civil rights policies.

Examples: We can create a cooperative agreement with an automobile manufacturer, postal delivery service, or grocery food chain that does business with the agency in a way that does not conflict with our ethics.

We can establish regional development councils to enhance economic diversification.

What we CANNOT do:

-We cannot partner with anyone whose stated policy or mission is contrary to our ethics.

-We cannot partner on a project that is in conflict with our stated ethics or civil rights policies.

Examples: We cannot partner on a project with a party that is likely to result in long-term soil erosion or water quality degradation.

We cannot partner on a project that might jeopardize the conservation of a threatened species on adjacent private lands.

We cannot partner on a project with an entity that discriminates based on race, color, ntional origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, or marital or familial status.

Conflict of Interest

It is important to define the scope of the relationship to define mutual benefits. It is important to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The goal is to separate partnership efforts enough from other business that conflict of interest is avoided. It should never be construed that such relationships give either party inappropriate benefits.

We recommend proceeding with caution when we partner with those we do business with. We have done this successfully in the past when the cooperative efforts and our routine business relationship are clearly separated. It is important to avoid actual or perceived preferential treatment for a partner in other business dealings that may be contractual or regulatory in nature. If perception of perferential treatment cannot be avoided, the forest officer may want to look to the National Forest Foundation to assist in the partnership.

Example: We can cooperate on a sign project with a timber company that purchases timber on a national forest, as long as it is clear in the agreement that this partnership effort is neither associated with nor influence any dealings pertaining to, or treatments for, timber sales or other business with that partner.

What we can do:

*The Forest Service may accept gifts and donations from those other than interested parties.

*The Forest Service and interpretive associations can use donation boxes to collect money.

*We can talk to representatives of organizations about sharing resources, including money, where we are likely to consummate an appropriate cost-sharing agreement.

What the NFF can do:

*The NFF can accept funds from interested parties to support the Forest Service in general.

*The NFF can accept funds from private entities to support areas of mutual interest in which they are an interested party.

Example: The NFF can accept a donation from a timber contractor to develop signs to interpret timber harvesting, provided that the timber purchaser receives no preferential treatment in, or unethical benefits from, existing or subsequent dealings with the Forest Service.


Conflict of interest rules prohibits an employee from seeking or receiving anything of value in return for official acts that may be performed by that employee as a public official.

Conflict of interest prohibitions are implemented through regulatory restrictions and criminal statutes to protect employees from the appearance of conflict of interest or impropriety. Because employees may work closely with partners over a long period, there is a real risk that the close relationship could be construed as conflict of interest.

What we can do:

*Employees can participate, with agency authorization, as Federal officials in business relationships and in organizations, including those in which the employee is an active member.

*Employees must represent the mission of the agency when they participate as Federal officials with private entities in developing public-private partnerships.

*Employees can use Federal Government facilities or work on various partnership issues related to the Forest Service activities covered by the standard agreement between the agency and the partner.

*Employees can represent the Forest Service during development of voluntary partnerships based on mutual needs.

*Employees can assist a community in writing a grant proposal to the Forest Service, as long as they are not part of the grant review or decision process.

*Employees may accept meals and unsolicited gifts having an aggregate market value of $20 or less per occasion, provided that the aggregate market value of individual gifts received from any one person under the authority of 5 CFR 35.204 does not exceed $50 in a calendar year.

What we CANNOT do (see 5 CFR 2635.101):

-Employees are prohibited from representing the partner during development of the partnership.

-Employees cannot participate directly or indirectly in any decisions with a partner when the employee has a financial interest in the partner's business. Employees who represent the Forest Service on community action teams cannot act as the lead or approving official for a grant when the action team is applying to the Forest Service for funding. Employees cannot receive compensation, other than from the Government, for performing Federal duties.

-Employees cannot participate in any decision for the partner or made by the partner regarding the partner's relationship with the Forest Service.



General Authorities: Forest Service Manual 1500 External Relations WO Amendment 1500-95-3 Effective April 21, 1995

Chapter 1580 - Grants, Cooperative Agreements & Other Agreements

The direction in this chapter applies to the following types of grants, cooperative agreements, other agreements, and memoranda of understanding:

  1. Challenge Cost-Share Agreements (FSM 1587.12);
    2. Collection Agreements (FSM 1584);
    3. Cooperative Agreements (limited for NFS)(FSM 1581);
    4. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements (S&PF, NFS) (FSM 1582);
    5. Cooperative Law Enforcement Agreements (NFS) (FSM 1582);
    6. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (FSM 1587.14);
    7. Cooperative Forest Road Agreements (NFS) (FSM 1582);
    8. Grants (S&PF, R, IF) (FSM 1581);
    9. Interagency and Intra-agency Agreements (FSM 1585);
    10. Memoranda of Understanding (FSM 1586);
    11. Letters of Intent (FSM 1586);
    12. Participating Agreements (FSM 1587.11);
    13. Joint Venture Agreements (R) (FSM 1587.13);
    14. Cost-Reimbursable Agreements (R) (FSM 1587.13).

The acronym shown in parentheses after each of these instruments generally reflects which type of instrument may be issued by units receiving which designated Deputy Area appropriations. If no Deputy area appropriations are specifically identified, the instrument type may be issued using any Forest Service appropriations, for example, National Forest System (NFS), State and Private Forestry (S&PF), Research (R), and International Forestry (IF). However, use of some types of instruments may be limited as discussed in each applicable section of FSM 1580.

This chapter does not apply to Forest Service procurements governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)(FSH 6309.32).

1580.1 - Authority The authorities described in FSM 1580.11 - 1580.16 are the most significant statutory authorities for Government-wide, Service-wide, and specific Deputy Area use (Research, State and Private Forestry, International Forestry, and National Forest System).

1580.11 - Government-wide Use 1. The Economy Act of June 30, 1932 (31 U.S.C. 1535, Pub. L. 97-258 and 98-216). Section 601 of this Act authorizes one Federal agency to requisition work, services, supplies, materials, or equipment from another Federal agency (FSM 1585.12).

2. The Act of August 27, 1958 (23 U.S.C. 308(a), Pub. L. 85-767). This Act authorizes the Federal Highway Administration to perform by contract or otherwise, authorized engineering or other services in connection with the survey, construction, maintenance, or improvement of highways on behalf of other Government agencies (FSM 1585.13).

3. Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 (31 U.S.C. 6501-6508, Pub. L. 90-577). Title III of this Act authorizes the Forest Service to provide services to States or subdivisions of States (FSM 1581.12).

4. Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. 3710a, Pub. L. 96-480). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to enter into cooperative research and development agreements for technological transfer for commercial purposes (FSM 1587.14).

5. Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act of 1977 (31 U.S.C. 6301-6308, Pub. L. 95-224). Unless the relationship is otherwise specified by statute, this Act requires that Federal agencies characterize the relationship between a Federal and non-Federal party as one of a procurement contract or of Federal financial assistance. The selection of a particular instrument, such as, a procurement contract or an assistance instrument, to document the transaction shall be determined by this relationship. Consider specific laws, regulations, and the vesting of title to property in research activities (FSM 1580.6 and FSM 1582).

6. United States Information and Exchange Act (22 U.S.C. 1451 and 1479, Pub. L. 97-241). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to cooperate with a foreign government by providing at its request Forest Service employees with specific technical or professional qualifications (FSM 1584.16).

1580.12 - Service-wide Use 1. Cooperative Funds Act of June 30, 1914 (16 U.S.C. 498). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to accept money received as contributions toward cooperative work in forest investigations or protection and improvement of the national forests (FSM 1584.11).

2. Granger-Thye Act of April 24, 1950 (16 U.S.C. 572). Section 5 of this act authorizes the Forest Service to perform work: (a) on State, county, municipal, or private land within or near National Forest land, or (b) for others who occupy or use National Forests or other lands administered by the Forest Service (FSM 1584.12).

3. Acceptance of Gifts Act of October 10, 1978 (7 U.S.C. 2269, Pub. L. 95-442). This Act authorizes Forest Service acceptance of cash, as well as donations of real personal property (FSM 1584.13).

4. Volunteers in National Forest Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 558, Pub. L. 92-300). This Act authorizes Forest Service acceptance of an individual's services without compensation, other than perhaps for incidental expenses (FSM 1583.17).

5. Cooperative Funds and Deposits Act of December 12, 1975 (16 U.S.C. 565a1-a3, Pub. L. 94-148). This Act authorizes the Forest Service and cooperator(s) to perform work from which they would accrue mutual non-monetary benefit (FSM 1587.11).

6. Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 102-154, (Challenge Cost-Share)). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to cooperate with others in developing, planning, and implementing mutually beneficial projects that enhance Forest Service activities, where the cooperators provide matching funds or in-kind contributions. Cooperators may be public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals (FSM 1587.12).

7. Title 7, United States Code, Section 2204a. This section provides for the exchange of personnel and facilities in each field office of the Department of Agriculture to the extent necessary and desirable to achieve the most efficient use of personnel and facilities and to provide the most effective assistance in the development of rural areas in accordance with State rural development plans (FSM 1585.11).

8. Federal Employees International Organization Service Act (5 U.S.C. 3343 and 3581-3584). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to detail employees to an international organization which requests services for a period not to exceed 5 years.

9. National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-113), as Amended by The Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 3318, and 3319, Pub. L. 99-198). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to: a. Enter into joint venture agreements with any entity or individual to serve the mutual interest of the parties in agricultural teaching activities (7 U.S.C. 3318(b)).

b. Enter into cost reimbursable agreements with State cooperative institutions for the acquisition of goods or services, including personal services, without seeking competition, to carry out agricultural teaching activities of mutual interest (7 U.S.C. 3319(a); FSM 1587.13).

c. Issue grants for up to 5 years to land grant colleges and universities, colleges, and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, and to other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences in order to strengthen institutional capacities, attract and support undergraduate and graduate students, conduct under-graduate scholarship programs, and to offer graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, and so forth (7 U.S.C. 3152) (FSM 1581.16).

APPENDIX B: Role of Partnerships and Authorities

Research The Forest Service is the lead Federal agency in forestry research. Therefore, Research is involved in broad national and international partnerships. Collaboration with other scientific organizations and groups complements forest research programs, fosters strong cooperation among research organizations, and achieves goals while reducing the Federal work force. The Forest Service provides extramural funding in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to colleges, universities, and other research organizations.


1580.13 - Research 1. National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-113), as Amended by The Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 3152, 3318, and 3319, Pub. L. 99-198). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to: a. Enter into joint venture agreements with any entity or individual to serve the mutual interest of the parties in agricultural research and teaching activities (7 U.S.C. 3318(b)).

b. Enter into cost reimbursable agreements with State cooperative institutions for the acquisition of goods or services, including personal services, without seeking competition, to carry out agricultural research or teaching activities of mutual interest (7 U.S.C. 3319(a); FSM 1587.13).

2. Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978, as Amended (16 U.S.C. 1641-1646, Pub. L. 95-307). This Act authorizes implementation of a program of forest and rangeland renewable resources research, dissemination of the research findings, and the acceptance of gifts, donations, and bequests and the investing thereof (FSM 1581.11 and FSM 1584.14).

State and Private Forestry (S&PF)

State and Private Forestry facilitates environmentally, economically, and socially sound management across landownerships and in communities. The related authorities of S&PF allow the Forest Service to work directly with partners to promote land stewardship, to address natural resource management issues across ownerships and jurisdictions, and to foster the social and economic vitality of communities. State and Private Forestry uses a variety of tools to accomplish its mission, including technical and financial assistance, collaborative planning, and education.

Most partnerships span multiple years based on longstanding mutually desired outcomes and performance measures; others are short term and project specific. Principal types of partnerships are:

1. Agency to consumer groups (addressing the needs of the consumer for forestry-related products and services, such as the American Association of Nurserymen, American Forest and paper Products Association, National Network of Forest Practitioners, National Woodland Owners Association, Association of Consulting Foresters)

2. Agency to nongovernmental organizations (such as American Forests, the Gifford Pinchot Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Indigenous People's Network).

3. Agency to international organizations (such as the International Society of Arboriculture and North American Association of Environmental Education).

4. Agency to agency organizations (such as the National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Foresters, and National Wildfire Coordinating Group).

5. Federal agency to federal agency, such as Natural Resource Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Economic Research Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Cooperative Research education and Extension Service, Small Business Administration, Department of Commerce.

6. Federal agency to state agency to provide financial and technical assistance to state agencies such as state forestry agencies, state departments of natural resources, and state departments of agriculture.

7. Government to government (such as Indian Tribes, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Afilliated Pacific Islands).

8. Agency to scientific organizations and groups to conduct pilot tests of promising technology needed by the Forest Service such as colleges and universities.


1580.14 - State and Private Forestry 1. Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, as Amended (16 U.S.C. 2101-2114, Pub. L. 95-313). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to work through and in cooperation with State foresters or equivalent agencies, and other countries in implementing technical programs affecting non-Federal forest lands (FSM 1581.13).

2. National Forest Dependent Rural Communities Economic Diversification Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6601 note, Pub. L. 101-624). Title XXIII, Subtitle G, Rural Revitalization Through Forestry, authorizes Forest Service establishment and implementation of educational programs and technical assistance to businesses, industries, and policy makers to create jobs, raise incomes, and increase public revenues in ways that are consistent with environmental concerns (FSM 1581.15).

3. America the Beautiful (16 U.S.C. 2101, Subtitle C, Pub. L. 101-624). This law created the National Tree Trust, a nonprofit foundation, to promote public awareness and solicit private sector contributions to encourage tree planting projects, and allows the Forest Service to promote principles of basic forest stewardship and provide increased assistance to others to plant and maintain trees and improve forests in rural areas (FSM 1581.14).

4. The Reciprocal Fire Act of May 27, 1955 (42 U.S.C. 1856a, Pub. L. 84-46). This Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of Interior to enter into reciprocal agreements with any foreign fire organization for mutual aid in furnishing wildfire protection resources for lands and other properties for which the Secretary or the Forest Service normally provides wildfire protection (FSM 1580.14, para. 4; FSM 1582).

International Forestry (IF)

International cooperation contributes to the Forest Service leadership vision by addressing two fundamental goals:

1. To advance sustainable forest management in the United States.

2. To promote sustainable forest management in other countries where it also benefits the United States.

These twin goals answer the question: Why is the agency involved internationally? International Forestry does most of its work in cooperation with international and domestic partners. Many of these partnerships span more than 1 year; others are short term for a specific activity. The principal types of long-term partnerships are:

1. Agency to agency (e.g., Forest Service to Indonesian Ministry of Forestry).

2. With international organizations (such as the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations' Center for International Forestry Research).

3. With environmental nongovernment organizations (NGO's) (such as the World Resources Institute or World Wildlife Fund).

4. With private sector organizations (such as the NFF).

5. With other Government agencies (such as the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, and Foreign Agricultural Service/International Cooperation and Development).

In addition, IF has developed limited partnerships with some private industry organizations and intends to develop more. Finally, as IF moves to develop a number of long-term initiatives focused on key forestry issues in several areas of the world, its need to develop closer, more long-term partnerships is likely to increase. Hence, efficient, effective mechanisms for partnership development will be increasingly important to IF.


1580.15 - International Forestry The International Forestry Cooperation Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 4501, Pub. L. 101-513, as Amended). This Act authorizes Forest Service cooperation and assistance with domestic and international organizations to further international programs which support global environmental stability, scientific exchange and educational opportunities, and technical and managerial expertise (FSM 1581.12).

The National Forest System (NFS) Through active partnerships at all levels of the agency, the NFS protects and enhances ecosystems while providing multiple benefits to the American people. Challenge Cost-Share and other forms of partnerships have already provided enormous benefits to the Nation through cultural resource protection, ecosystem restoration, wildlife and fish habitat improvement, recreation facility rehabilitation and management, production of conservation education materials, and many other projects.

Partnerships may span more than 1 year or be short term to accomplish a specific activity. The principal types of partnerships are:

1. Agency to local interests (such as those represented by wildlife organizations or hiking clubs).

2. Agency to private interests for-profit organizations including permit holders or contractors (such as ski area operators or timber sale contractors). Increasingly, private sector service providers under permit or contract are providing customer services on the national forests and grasslands. Although it is important to clarify that these relationships are not in and of themselves partnerships, if there is no conflict of interest, the Forest Service can engage in a mutually beneficial cooperative activity and enter into a partnership agreement. Perceptions of conflict of interest must be avoided. It should never be construed that such relationships give either party inappropriate benefits.

3. With nonprofit organizations (such as the NFF, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and interpretive associations).

4. Agency to agency (e.g., cooperative activities with State and Federal entities, such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and related State agencies, schools and local governments).

5. Government to government (such as Indian Tribes, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific Territories).


1580.16 - National Forest System

1. National Forest System Federal Enforcement of Local Laws Act of August 10, 1971 (16 U.S.C. 551a, Pub. L. 92-82). This Act authorizes Forest Service cooperation with State or political subdivisions to enforce or supervise laws and ordinances of a State or political division on national forest lands (FSM 1582).

2. The Reciprocal Fire Act of May 27, 1955 (42 U.S.C. 1856a, Pub. L. 84-46). (FSM 1580.14, para. 4; FSM 1582).

3. National Forest Roads and Trails Act of October 13, 1964 (16 U.S.C. 532-538, Pub. L. 88-657). This Act authorizes Forest Service financing and/or cooperation with other public agencies, private agencies, or persons for acquisition, construction, and maintenance of forest development roads within or near national forests (FSM 1582).

4. National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. 1246(h), Pub. L. 90-543). This Act authorizes Forest Service cooperation with the States or their political subdivisions, landowners, private organizations, or individuals to operate, develop, and maintain any portion of national trail system trails either inside or outside a federally administered area (FSM 1581.17).

5. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq, Pub. L. 90-542). This Act authorizes Forest Service cooperation with States or their political subdivisions, landowners, private organizations, or individuals to plan, protect, and manage river resources (FSM 1581.18).

6. Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-629, 7 U.S.C. 2801 et seq, Pub. L. 101-624). Title XIV, Subtitle D - Other Conservation Measures, authorizes the Forest Service to issue cooperative agreements to State agencies (or political subdivisions thereof responsible for the administration or implementation of undesirable plant laws of a State) for establishment of an undesirable plant management program and integrated management systems to control or contain undesirable plant species, and to issue specific cost-sharing cooperative agreements with State and local agencies to manage noxious weeds in an area if a majority of landowners in that area agree to participate in a noxious weed program (FSM 1581.19).

7. National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12501, Pub. L. 101-610). Subtitle C, National Service Trust Program, establishes the Corporation for National Community Service which may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with Federal agencies to support a national service program carried out by the agency (FSM 1581.20).

8. Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1970 (16 U.S.C. 1701-1706 as Amended by Title II, Public Land Corps Act of 1993, Pub. L. 91-378). This Act authorizes the Forest Service to utilize the Corps or any qualified youth or conservation corps to carry out appropriate conservation projects on public lands, Indian lands, and Hawaiian homelands. Conservation projects may be carried out on State, local, or private lands as part of disaster prevention or relief efforts in response to an emergency or major disaster declared by the President (FSM 1581.21).

Public Affairs Office (PAO) The Forest Service PAO provides leadership for corporate communication, externally and internally, in support of the agency's mission. Public Affairs staffs produce and implement communication strategies and produce specific products and activities when the benefits are mutual between the agency and partners. Often, Public Affairs strategies, products, and activities support partnerships between mission areas of the agency and other entities; Public Affairs staffs then become part of those partnerships.

National Forest Foundation (NFF) The NFF, established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress, is the official nonprofit partner of the Forest Service. The purposes of the NFF are to:

*Solicit and accept donations and gifts, and generate and distribute funds for the protection, management, and conservation of forest and range resources.

*Conduct activities that further the purposes of NFS management consistent with forest plans.

*Provide and encourage educational, technical, and other assistance supporting multiple use, research, and cooperative forestry.

*Develop public private partnerships to achieve mutual interests, and provide for private investment in public service and resources.

*Provide leadership and support for people to join together in grass roots organizations dedicated to the stewardship of the Earth's resources and a healthy environment for our childrens' future.

*Increase public awareness and understanding of the great public land legacy of the national forests and grasslands, and of the benefits of sustainable management of natural resources.

The NFF is dedicated to promoting conservation and the wise use of natural resources throughout the United States and the world community. The NFF has the power of a corporation in the District of Columbia, including the power to accept, administer, and use donations or gifts of any real or personal property; to transfer, sell, invest, or otherwise dispose of the property or income from it; to borrow money and issue bonds; and to enter into contracts with public agencies, private organizations, and persons.

The NFF is governed by a 15-member board of directors appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture for terms of 6 years. The Chief of the Forest Service is an ex officio, nonvoting board member. The board also has an executive director in Washington, DC.