The SGPC is highly involved with the use of the Forest Service Stewardship Authority for both Integrated Resource Contract projects that utilize Stewardship Contracting and for standalone Stewardship Service Contracts. Stewardship contracting helps achieve land management goals while meeting local and rural community needs, including contributing to the sustainability of rural communities and providing a continuing source of local income and employment. It focuses on the “end result” ecosystem benefits and outcomes, rather than on what’s removed from the land. 

Stewardship timber sales differ from traditional timber sales in a number of ways including that they allow for the trade of goods for services. When the value of the goods is greater than the costs of the services, then revenue  is kept in a Retained Receipt account that funds on the ground restoration work within the stewardship project area.  

The Forest Service has produced a concise pamphlet on Stewardship Contracting that is available by clicking the image to the right.To learn more about Stewardship Contracting and restoration projects funded through Retained Receipts on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest visit the GPNF Stewardship Contracting and Retained Receipts page.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about Stewardship Authority, how it differs from Traditional Timber Sales, and the Retained Receipts generated from Stewardship Sales.

To learn more about the details of the Forest Service Stewardship Authority, the two pager produced by the National Forest Foundation is an excellent place to start.


The Forest Service uses a combination of Traditional Timber Sales and Stewardship Timber Sales to help achieve its multiple use mandate. The table below compares and contrasts these two types of timber sales.

Traditional Timber Sale

  • 25% of revenue from timber sale goes to the county in which the forest is located to support local schools and roads.
  • 75% of revenue from timber sale goes to the United States General Fund.

Stewardship Timber Sale

  • Bundles several contracts into one to treat a landscape.
  • Trades goods for services.
  • Retains receipts from forest products that need to be removed to meet restoration objectives and apply the receipts to needed service work within the stewardship project area.
  • Retains receipts and transfers them to another approved stewardship project.
  • Uses multiyear and multiple-year contracts and agreements up to 10 years in length.
  • Requires collaboration upfront and throughout project development and implementation with government agencies, tribal governments, local communities, nongovernmental organizations, and any interested groups or individuals.
  • Uses Best Value contracting to evaluate contractors’ proposals.
  • Uses Designation by Description (DxD) for timber sales.

Retained receipts are funds generated from a stewardship contract when the value of the goods (usually the commercial timber harvest) is greater than the costs of the services (the cost of the timber sale contract and its administration). The retained receipts generated from these contracts are then used to fund on the ground restoration projects within the stewardship project area.

The Forest Service and SGPC jointly put out an annual call for restoration project proposals to be funded with retained receipts. These proposals can come from forest service specialists or outside groups and individuals. The project may occur on or off forest, but they must a have a direct restoration benefit to the National Forest (this is allowed via the Wyden Amendment). For example, a fish barrier removal project off forest that allows fish to access the reach of the stream on the National Forest could qualify for retained receipt funding. A proposal pitch day is held where project proponents explain the restoration project and their funding request.

It is then up to the SGPC to prioritize the available retained receipt funding amounts across the proposed projects. This funding prioritization is then provided to the Forest Service who retain final discretion in allocating the retained receipt funding. To learn more about the types of project funded through retained receipts visit our Retained Receipts in Action page.