National Forest Foundation

Learning Topics


Measuring the impact of forest management, restoration, and maintenance is about more than the ecosystem; it also affects people and communities as well. By measuring the economic impacts of forest projects, we can help improve public’s understanding of the benefits deriving from National Forests. To find out more, check out our tools on this page.

Not finding what you need? Visit our Collaboration Tools Search to see all tools and resources.


Selected Peer Learning Sessions

Measuring Socioeconomic Benefit and Job Creation Results (September 22, 2011)
Measuring the social and economic impacts of collaborative stewardship work is extremely important to community-based groups and their constituents. In this session, the Ecosystem Workforce Program and the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute presented reports and tools they each recently released to assist community groups identify and measure socioeconomic indicators. In addition, Salmon Valley Stewardship described their efforts to monitor the economic impact of their work, and the exciting results they can now report.

Understanding R-CAT for Use in Predicting Reduced Fire Costs in CFLR Projects (February 9, 2012)
This peer learning session covered the experiences of the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project in running the R-CAT model (Wildland Fire Management Risk and Cost Analysis Tools Package). R-CAT is the model being used to estimate reductions in fire costs as a result of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) activities. This session discussed the personnel, data, time and other resources needed to run the R-CAT model on a CFLR project. Participants also heard from the model designers as well as Deschutes National Forest staff about lessons and strategies they’d suggest for other CFLR projects working with R-CAT.

Avoided Cost Analysis as a Tool to Strategically Invest in Watershed Restoration: A Case Study of the Mokelumne Watershed Project (January 22, 2013)
The session provided an overview of how avoided costs are being quantified in different places across the National Forest System, and featured a case study of the Mokelumne Watershed Project in California, a High-Priority Partnership effort involving the Forest Service, water and energy suppliers, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and many other partners.

Leveraging Resources: Log Values vs. Treatment Costs (April 17, 2013)
This peer learning session focused on how log values can help offset the costs of treatment on restoration projects. Topics included stream restoration, weeds, road obliteration and harvesting. The goal of this webinar was to increase the understanding of project costs and offsets to improve the odds of a successful project. This peer learning session was offered jointly by the Montana Forest Restoration Committee and the National Forest Foundation.

Lessons Learned from Five Years of Monitoring on the White Mountain Stewardship Project (May 23, 2011)
Sue Sitko of The Nature Conservancy presented the many lessons learned after five years of multiparty monitoring on the White Mountain Stewardship Project (Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest). The White Mountain Stewardship Project was the country’s first ten-year stewardship contract. The Project’s goals were to reduce the impact of wildfires to communities at risk, to improve wildlife habitat, and to restore forest health, while helping rural communities stimulate employment in the wood products industry. Sue discussed how the collaborative group involved in the Project set out to measure progress toward achieving these goals during the first five years of the Project, and how they are approaching monitoring in the next five years.

The Denver Water Partnership (July 10, 2012)
Have you heard about the “Denver Water Partnership” but not known how it works or who set it up? Maybe you know something about it and would like to try to do something similar on your forest or region. In this peer learning session, Claire Harper, the Water Partnerships Coordinator for Region 2, profiled the oft-cited “Denver Water Partnership." The Forest Service’s partnership with Denver Water has received a lot of attention both within the Forest Service and in the public eye, so this was a terrific opportunity to learn about the ingredients that have made the partnership so successful.

The New Stewardship Agreement (April 15, 2010)
The Forest Service recently created a new stewardship agreement template and process to improve the agency's ability to work with partners and to leverage more resources to get results on the ground. Al Christopherson of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Michele Wasienko-Holland of the Forest Service shared information about how stewardship agreements work and important things to consider when putting one together.

Stewardship Contracting: Updates, Overview and Examples (July 24, 2014)
In this peer learning session Forest Management staff at the Washington Office provided an overview of the stewardship authority. Next, agency staff and partners from Region 1, the Idaho Forest Group, and the Malheur National Forest discussed the processes they used to develop integrated resource timber contracts (ITRCs) and integrated resource service contracts (IRSCs).

Stewardship Authorities, Ecosystem Services and County Payments (August 3, 2010)
Mark Haggerty and Megan Lawson at Headwaters Economics presented information about their research using data from existing stewardship contracts to estimate the non-market values produced on National Forests and to showcase the importance of stewardship and restoration work on National Forests. They explored a real-world application of these concepts by discussing the pros and cons of linking county payments to the value of ecosystem services.

Stewardship Contracting in Forest Service Region 10 (Alaska) (March 31, 2011)
The Alaska Regional Office and the National Forest Foundation worked together to host a peer learning session about stewardship contracting. The purposes of the peer learning session were to increase the understanding of stewardship authorities and how they can be used to accomplish valuable resource work within the Region.

Stewardship Agreements and Contracts - Important Tools for Accelerated Restoration (December 11, 2012)
In this session, participants learned about the latest status of stewardship tools and how the Bureau of Land Management is using the direction; received a basic "how to" for stewardship agreements and contracts; learned about recent improvements (most specifically, addressing fire liability in Forest Service stewardship agreements); and listened to lessons learned by two community-based partner groups.

Stewardship Agreements in Forest Service Region 2 (Rocky Mountain) (October 24, 2011)
The Rocky Mountain Regional Office and the National Forest Foundation worked together to host a peer learning session about stewardship agreements. The purposes of the peer learning session were to increase the understanding of stewardship authorities and how they can be used to accomplish valuable resource work within the Region.

Stewardship Contracting in Forest Service Region 6 (Pacific Northwest) (April 22, 2011)
The purposes of the peer learning session, held by the Pacific Northwest Regional Office and the National Forest Foundation, were to discuss how stewardship contracts are being used to accomplish valuable resource work within the Pacific Northwest Region, and challenges, opportunities and lessons that will help us to use stewardship authorities more effectively.

Selected Tools & Resources

Stewardship and the U.S. Forest Service
The NFF developed this "quick guide" to stewardship contracting and agreements in 2014 to support peer learning.

The New Multiparty Monitoring and Stewardship Contracting Tool for Adaptive Management (Guidebook)
The Region 6 Office of the U.S. Forest Service contracted with Sustainable Northwest to develop the Guidebook in response to requests from collaborative stewardship groups for specific information about multiparty monitoring approaches in the Pacific Northwest. Collaborative support and assistance for the Guidebook was provided by Oregon Solutions and the National Forest Foundation.

Workshops and Meetings

Place-Based Forest Agreements and Laws Symposium
The National Forest Foundation and Bolle Center for People and Forests at the University of Montana held a symposium on June 8 and 9, 2010, focused on the growing interest in various landscape level approaches to management of our National Forests.

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