Congressional Charter

National Forest Foundation Act

Public Law 101-593-Title IV-Nov. 16, 1990

As Amended by Public Law 103-106-Oct. 12, 1993


This title may be cited as the National Forest Foundation Act Amendment Act of 1990.


  1. ESTABLISHMENT- There is established the National Forest Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the "Foundation") as a charitable and nonprofit corporation domiciled in the District of Columbia.
  2. PURPOSES- The purposes of the Foundation are to-
    1. encourage, accept, and administer private gifts of money, and of real and personal property for the benefit of, or in connection with, the activities and services of the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture;
    2. undertake and conduct activities that further the purposes for which units of the National Forest System are established and are administered and that are consistent with approved forest plans; and
    3. undertake, conduct and encourage educational, technical and other assistance, and other activities that support the multiple use, research, cooperative forestry and other programs administered by the Forest Service.
    1. The Foundation shall not participate or intervene in a political campaign on behalf of any candidate or public office.
    2. No director, officer, or employee of the Foundation shall participate, directly or indirectly, in the consideration or determination of any question before the Foundation affecting-
      1. the financial interests of the director, officer, or employee; or
      2. the interests of any corporation partnership, entity, or organization in which such director, officer, or employee-
        1. is an officer, director, or trustee; or
        2. has any direct or indirect financial interest.


  1. ESTABLISHMENT AND MEMBERSHIP- The Foundation shall have a governing Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as the "Board"), which shall consist of fifteen Directors, each of whom shall be a United States citizen. At all times, a majority of members of the Board shall be educated or have actual experience in natural or cultural resource management, law, or research.

    To the extent practicable, members of the Board shall represent diverse points of view relating to natural and cultural resource issues. The Chief of the Forest Service shall be an ex-officio nonvoting member of the Board.

  2. APPOINTMENT AND TERMS- Within one year from the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary") shall appoint the Directors of the Board. Directors shall be appointed for terms of six years; except that the Secretary, in making the initial appointments to the Board, shall appoint one-third each of the Directors to terms of two, four, and six years respectively. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled within sixty days of such vacancy in the manner of which the original appointment was made. No individual may serve more than twelve consecutive years as a Director.
  3. CHAIRMAN- The Chairman shall be elected by the Board from its members. A chairman shall serve for a two-year term, and may be re-elected to the post during his tenure as a Director.
  4. QUORUM- A majority of the current voting membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
  5. MEETINGS- The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairman at least once a year. If a Director misses three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings, that individual may be removed from the Board by majority vote of the Board of Directors and that vacancy filled in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
  6. REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES- Voting members of the Board shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for the actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties for the Foundation. Such reimbursement may not exceed such amount as would be authorized under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, for the payment of expenses and allowances for individuals employed intermittently in the Federal Government service.
  7. GENERAL POWERS- The Board may complete the organization of the Foundation by appointing employees, adopting a constitution and bylaws consistent with the purposes of the Foundation and the provisions of this subtitle, and undertaking other such acts as may be necessary to function and to carry out the provisions of this title.
  8. OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES- Officers and employees may not be appointed until the Foundation has sufficient funds to pay their services. Officers and employees of the Foundation shall be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointment in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.


  1. IN GENERAL- The Foundation-
    1. shall have perpetual succession;
    2. may conduct business throughout the several States, territories, and possessions of the United States and in foreign countries;
    3. shall have its principal offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; and
    4. shall at all times maintain a designated agent in the District of Columbia authorized to accept services of process for the Foundation.
  2. NOTICE AND SERVICE OF PROCESS- The serving of notice to, or service of process upon, the agent required under this paragraph, or mailed to the business address of such agent, shall be deemed as service upon or notice to the Foundation.
  3. SEAL- The Foundation shall have an official seal selected by the Board which shall be judicially noticed.
  4. POWERS- To carry out its purposes, the Foundation shall have, in addition to powers otherwise authorized under this title, the usual powers of a corporation in the District of Columbia, including the power to-
    1. accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer and use any gift, devise, or bequest, either absolutely or in trust, or real or personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein;
    2. acquire by donation, gift, devise, purchase or exchange any real or personal property or interest therein;
    3. unless otherwise required by the instrument of transfer, sell, donate, lease, invest, reinvest, retain or otherwise dispose of any property or income therefrom;
    4. borrow money and issue bonds, debentures, or other debt instruments;
    5. sue and be sued, and complain and defend itself in any court of competent jurisdiction (except that the Directors of the Board shall not be personally liable, except for gross negligence);
    6. enter into contracts or other arrangements with public agencies, private organizations, and persons and to make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the purposes thereof; and
    7. do any and all acts necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of the Foundation.
    1. The Foundation may acquire, hold and dispose of lands, waters, or other interests in real property by donation, gift, devise, purchase or exchange. For the purposes of this title, an interest in real property shall include, but not be limited to, mineral and water rights, rights of way, and easements, appurtenant or in gross. A gift, device, or bequest may be accepted by the Foundation even though it is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest therein is for the benefit of the Foundation.
    2. No lands or waters, or interest therein, that are owned by the Foundation and are determined by the Chief of the United States Forest Service to be valuable for purposes established in this title shall be subject to condemnation by any State or political subdivision, or any agent of instrumentality thereof.
    3. The Foundation and any income or property received or owned by it, and all transactions relating to such income or property, shall be exempt from all Federal, State, and local taxation with respect thereto.
    4. Contributions, gifts, and other transfers made to or for the use of the Foundation shall be treated as contributions, gifts, or transfers to an organization exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


  1. STARTUP FUNDS- For the purposes of assisting the Foundation in establishing an office and meeting initial administrative, project, and other startup expenses, the Secretary is authorized to provide to the Foundation $500,000, from funds appropriated pursuant to section 410(a), per year for the two years beginning October 1, 1992. Such funds shall remain available to the Foundation until they are expended for authorized purposes.
  2. MATCHING FUNDS- In addition to the startup funds provided under subsection (a) of this section, for a period of five years beginning October 1, 1992, the Secretary is authorized to provide matching funds for administrative and project expenses incurred by the Foundation as authorized by section 410(b) of this title including reimbursement of expenses under section 403, not to exceed the current Federal Government per diem rates.
  3. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES- At any time, the Secretary may provide the Foundation use of the Department of Agriculture personnel, facilities, and equipment, with partial or no reimbursement, with such limitation and on such terms and conditions as the Secretary shall establish.

SEC. 406. VOLUNTEERS. 16 USC 583j-4

The Secretary may accept, without regard to the civil service classification laws, rules, and regulations, any director, officer, employee or agent of the Foundation as a volunteer for purposes of the Volunteers in the National Forests Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 558a through 558d, 86 Stat. 147).


  1. AUDITS- For the purposes of the act entitled "An Act for audit of accounts of private corporations established under Federal law," approved August 30, 1964 (36 U.S.C. 1101 through 1103; Public Law 88-504), the Foundation shall be treated as a private corporation established under Federal law.
  2. ANNUAL REPORTS- The Foundation shall transmit each year to Congress a report of its proceedings and activities of the previous year, including a full and complete statement of its receipts, expenditures, and investments.


The United States shall not be liable for any debts, defaults, acts of omissions of the Foundation nor shall the full faith and credit of the United States extend to any obligations of the Foundations.


The activities of the Foundation authorized under the provisions of this Act shall be supplemental to and shall not pre-empt any authority or responsibility of the United States Forest Service under any other provision of law.


  1. START-UP FUNDS- For the purposes of section 405 of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000.
  2. MATCHING FUNDS- For the purposes of section 405 of this title, during the five-year period beginning October 1, 1992, there are authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000 annually to the Secretary of Agriculture to be made available to the Foundation to match, on a one-for-one basis, private contributions made to the Foundation.

Approved November 16, 1990.

Amended October 12, 1993.