36 CFR 211.6 - Cooperation in forest investigations or the protection, management, and improvement of the National Forest System.
(a)Purpose and scope. Forest Service officers, when engaged in cooperative activities otherwise authorized, may receive monies from cooperators only for cooperative work in forest investigations or for the protection, management, and improvement of the National Forest System and only in accordance with written cooperative agreements. Management of the National Forest System may include such work as planning, analysis, and related studies, as well as resource activities.
(b)Reimbursements. Agency expenditures for work undertaken in accordance with this section may be made from Forest Service appropriations available for such work, with subsequent reimbursement from the cooperator, in accordance with established written agreements. Forest Service officers shall issue written bills for collection for cooperator reimbursement payments within the same fiscal year as Forest Service expenditures.
(c)Bonding. Each written agreement involving a non-Government cooperator's total contribution of $25,000 or more to the Forest Service on a reimbursable basis, must include a provision requiring a payment bond to guarantee the cooperator's reimbursement payment. Acceptable security for a payment bond includes Department of the Treasury approved corporate sureties, Federal Government obligations, and irrevocable letters of credit. For the purposes of this section, a non-Government cooperator is an entity that is not a member, division, or affiliate of a Federal, State, local government, a federally recognized Indian Tribe (as defined by the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 [ 25 U.S.C. 479a]), or other organizations funding a Forest Service agreement with pass through funding from an entity that is a member, division, or affiliate of a Federal, State, local government, or federally recognized Indian Tribe.
(d)Avoiding conflict of interest. Forest Service officers shall avoid acceptance of contributions from cooperators when such contributions would reflect unfavorably upon the ability of the Forest Service to carry out its responsibilities and duties. Forest Service officers shall be guided by the provisions of 18 U.S.C. parts 201- 209 5 CFR part 2635, and applicable Department of Agriculture regulations, in determining if a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest exists in a proposed cooperative effort. Forest Service ethics officials or the designated Department of Agriculture ethics official should be consulted on conflict of interest issues.