FAQ - Contract Questions

What happens when I am notified that my application has been approved?
After your application is approved, we obligate funding for your project and send you a contract in the mail. This contract states that you agree to carry out the practices in your application and that you will be paid the amounts specified in your application. Once you sign your contract and put it in the mail back to us or deliver it to the office of your local Common Waters Fund partner, you are free to begin work on your project including purchasing supplies, contracting with a forester or service provider, etc. You will receive payment from the Common Waters Fund once your plan or project is complete.

Why am I required to sign a contract with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation?
The Pinchot Institute for Conservation is the fiscal agent – the organization that is appropriating the funding – for the Common Waters Fund. Your contract with the Pinchot Institute is your assurance that money has been obligated to pay you for completing your Forest Stewardship Plan or management practices. It also defines the basic terms of your agreement with the Common Waters Fund, such as the time period during which you agree to implement practices. You should read the contract carefully – it is available here – and contact Stephanie Pendergrass at 202-797-6530 if you have any questions.

When do I receive the funding?
You receive funds from the Common Waters Fund for a Forest Stewardship Plan when the plan has been submitted and approved by the state forest agency in your state. You receive funds from the Common Waters Fund for forest management practices when the practices have been implemented by you or a contractor that you hire to implement them and are inspected and approved by the Common Waters Fund.

Do the payments I receive from the Common Waters Fund need to be counted as taxable income?
Yes. The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, your contracting organization, will send you appropriate documentation if your payments meet the IRS criteria for taxable income.

What is the length of the contract?
Contracts with the Common Waters Fund are for one year. All activities under the contract must be completed within one year, unless an extension is agreed to prior to the expiration of the contract. However, the life of the practice you install may be longer than the contract. Generally, practices have a life of ten years, meaning the forest impacted by the practice must remain forest for ten years to avoid violating the terms of the contract.

What if I change my mind and do not want to implement a Forest Stewardship plan or Forest Management Practices after I have signed a contract?

You should notify the Common Waters Fund immediately by contacting Stephanie Pendergrass at 202-797-6530. This will allow us to use the funds obligated for your project elsewhere. If you have signed a contract and started work, but decide not to complete the work, you will not be reimbursed. The Common Waters Fund pays for completed plans and practices only.

Can I look at a sample contract?
Yes! Click here to see a sample contract.