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For Immediate Release: Jan. 14, 2004
DOI: John Wright, 202-208-6416
USFS: Heidi Valetkevitch, 202-205-1089



Federal Officials to Announce New Stewardship
Contracting Guidelines Jan. 15

WASHINGTON -- Administration officials from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior will brief reporters in a telephone conference Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, on new Stewardship Contracting Interim Guidance procedures designed to improve the removal of underbrush and trees that often serves as hazardous fuels for catastrophic wildfires.

The media telephone conference will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EST). Reporters interested in participating in the briefing should call 1-888-829-8672 and give the passcode Stewardship Contracting.

In April 2003, Congress entrusted federal land-management agencies with a critical tool called stewardship contracting to help achieve land-management goals that have been developed in collaboration with local communities. Stewardship contracting is a process designed to assist in enhancing and restoring the health of America=s forests and rangelands. The focus is on improving the health of the land, ensuring thriving landscapes and contributing to development of dynamic economies.

WHO: Mark Rey, under secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment
Rebecca Watson, assistant secretary of Interior for Land and Mineral Management

WHAT: Announcement of Stewardship Contracting Interim Guidance

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EST)

WHERE: Telephone call-in number:1-888-829-8672
Passcode: Stewardship Contracting