FAQ - Stewardship Plan and Management Practice

Why is an application fee required for Forest Stewardship Applications?
The application fee helps to cover the costs of administering the program, including intake and review of applications and coordinating with state agencies on plan approvals and payments.

How do I know what needs to be included in my Forest Stewardship Plan?
You can review the standards for Forest Stewardship Plans here. The Common Waters Fund partner in your county can also review the standards with you and answer any questions.

What if I need help choosing which practices are needed to achieve my objectives?
If you are not already working with a forester or other resource professional, you should consider developing a relationship with one and consult with them to recommend and lay out practices on your land. Your local Common Waters Fund partner can also help you decide what to do or recommend other professionals or agency partners to contact with your questions.

How do I know I am implementing management practices in a way that meets Common Waters Fund requirements?
All practices eligible for funding by the Common Waters Fund are listed on www.commonwatersfund.org. The Common Waters Fund partner in your county can also review the standards with you and answer any questions.

Am I required to work with a forester or other resource professional to implement management practices or write my Forest Stewardship Plan?
Forest Stewardship Plans must be written by a state approved professional. You are not required to hire a forester or other resource professional to implement management practices, but this is the recommended approach. Practices must be implemented to a minimum standard. In some cases, you may be able to implement practices yourself, however, most practices require specific expertise and are best implemented by a professional.

If I implement the management practice(s) myself, do I still get paid the same amount by the Common Waters Fund?

Yes, the Common Waters Fund cost share is based on an average cost. If you implement a practice yourself, we are essentially paying you for your work and materials rather than you paying a contractor with the money you receive from the Common Waters Fund. However, practices must be implemented up to the standards specified by the Common Waters Fund before you are paid. Many eligible practices require specific expertise to implement and are best contracted to professionals.

How were the payment rates set?

For Forest Stewardship Plans, the Common Waters Fund will pay rates your state’s Forest Stewardship Program (or the Watershed Forestry Program in New York). Please note that the plan writer you contract with may charge you their own rates that may differ from Common Waters Fund rates, so it is your responsibility to discuss and approve their fees before entering into a contract with them. For management practices, these rates are based on current cost estimates for the materials and labor needed to install a practice in the region.

I’m interested in implementing a management practice that is not listed on the Common Waters Fund application or website. How can I find out if the practice I’m interested in is eligible for funding?

Currently, only the practices listed on the Common Waters Fund application and website are eligible for funding. However, if you are interested in other management practices and think they should be included in the program, you should contact the Common Waters Fund coordinator, Stephanie Pendergrass, at 202-797-6530.