Prepared by

Sarah G. Bishop, PhD



Partners in Parks acknowledges the assistance of many people in the preparation of this handbook. In particular, L. Peter Boice, Director of Conservation and Jacquelyn M. Howard, Natural Resources Program Manager for the Legacy Resource Management Program, have been the principal contacts for Department of Defense policies and procedures. An informal review committee composed of resource managers, Valerie Morrill, Yuma Proving Grounds; Joseph Gorrell and Dennis Fenn, National Park Service; and Merritt Drucker, CEHP, Inc. provided significant comments on draft materials. Partners in Parks remains solely responsible for these materials; error of fact or misinterpretations of laws are not the fault of any of the people who submitted comments.

Preparation of this publication was made possible with Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program funds through the National Park Service Cooperative Agreement CA 0022 9 8001 with Partners in Parks. This document is a Legacy Program work product and does not reflect the policy, practices or doctrine of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

Prepared for the Department of Defense

Partners in Parks
4916 Butterworth Place, NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 364-7244










Appendix A Practical Exercise

Appendix B "Effective Partnerships"

Appendix C Sample Agreements

Appendix D Pertinent Legislation


PARTNERS FOR RESEARCH AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT was published in 1991 with a focus on partnership needs and opportunities in national parks. This version of that publication seeks to address partnership needs and opportunities on military installations. The emphasis here is primarily on resource management.

Earlier this year the Department of Defense issued RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE TO VOLUNTEER AND PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS as "interim guidance," which will remain in effect until formal policy is promulgated. The purpose of the DoD publication is to provide guidance for establishing volunteer and partnership programs in support of the DoD's natural and cultural resources programs. It describes the Volunteer and the Partnership Cost-Share programs, emphasizing program procedures and administration.

PARTNERS FOR RESEARCH AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ON MILITARY INSTALLATIONS may be best used as a companion to the RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE. PARTNERS cites examples of successful partnership and volunteer programs. It gives suggestions on how to initiate a partnership or expand an existing one. It shows how to find and use partners, how to select appropriate activities, and how to turn an initial partnership project into a long-term relationship. With these two volumes in hand, resource managers on military installations should be well advised on Department guidelines and tested techniques on partnership building.

NOTE REGARDING DEFINITION OF TERMS: Resource managers and management as used in this text refer only to natural and cultural resources, not to financial, personnel or other types of resources.

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The opening words of the "Scope of Program" section of RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE TO VOLUNTEER AND PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS state:

"The potential of the volunteer and partnership programs is as great as the land resources that the DOD enhances, maintains, and manages. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps are the stewards of nearly 25 million acres of public land across the United State and its Territories. The land is used for more than 1000 military bases, airfields, and training camps, and encompasses many varied ecosystems, including rain forests, deserts, wetlands, prairies, and arctic tundra. In addition, as the oldest agency of the federal government, the DoD has many sites associated with our early national history, and a remarkable variety of prehistoric archeological sites."1

Department of Defense lands represent a magnificent resource base that may very well be on a par with public lands in our national parks, preserves and wilderness areas. Military installations have some of the best remaining wildlife habitat, particularly in urban and other highly developed areas. They have a large inventory of properties that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Because of long-term limited public use, military lands offer almost unparalleled protection of archeological sites. They are not subject to commercial development or heavy recreational use as are other federally managed lands. For these reasons, military lands and sites will become increasingly attractive to those whose interests include conserving the special features found on them.

This largesse of natural and cultural resources is both a challenge and an opportunity for installation commanders and their resource management staff. While the military mission is first and foremost in priority and importance, with a secondary responsibility to support public interpretation and recreation activities where appropriate, resource stewardship for purposes of multiple use and sustained yield is becoming a more urgent mandate. Resource managers have to plan and implement a stewardship approach to resource management while expediting the primary military mission. They are searching for ways to get both jobs done, and, in many instances, they are finding expertise and willing assistance from both inside and outside the military.

Individuals and groups that may have had no previous contact with the installation see an opportunity to pursue their conservation interests there. People who are connected with the installation have another avenue for building community interest and support.

Stewardship responsibilities provide opportunities for partnerships to get needed work done, to provide for public enjoyment, and to enhance relations with the local community.

Forming partnerships is hardly a new idea to the military services. They have entered into agreements with federal and state agencies for purposes of maintaining land resources for sustainable military use and managing wildlife for conservation and recreation purposes. Other successful conservation programs include DoD's Legacy Resource Management Program, participation in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, cooperative ventures with The Nature Conservancy, Partners in Flight, and the Coastal America Initiative. Local organizations have helped manage installation museums, organize recreational activities and build community awareness on military installations. Increased concern for resource stewardship opens new avenues for forging long-term relationships with new partners.

On the pages that follow are ideas, examples and encouragement to those who have responsibility for resource stewardship on military installations on how to accomplish this mission. The exhortation is to look for new and appropriate interest groups, form partnerships, enhance existing partnerships, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

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The Partnership Concept

The word partnership implies sharing responsibility, equality, collegial relations. How might a partnership work on a military installation? Are there guidelines for building partnerships? In what situations are partnerships appropriate?

The military services have supported long-term partnerships with federal and state agencies, so the concept is hardly new. What is new is expanding partnership opportunities to non-profit organizations and interest groups for a variety of activities supporting resource stewardship.

These new partnerships have two missions. One is to help interested individuals and organizations gain access to military installations for the purpose of working on rewarding resource management projects. The other is to help installation commanders and their resource management staff accomplish major goals and objectives in resource protection, conservation and stewardship. With the stewardship mandate of the Department of Defense taking on a new level of importance, there are needs and opportunities for people with a variety of professional capabilities to pursue their own interests as well as to assist a valued national institution. Where there are common goals and mutual interests, partnerships will thrive.

A possible new approach to partnerships is to establish cooperative ventures between installations and private sector individuals and organizations working pro bono on their interests as well as on major installation objectives. Another aspect of this approach is to involve corporations, academic institutions and others in supporting these cooperative ventures.

Partnerships should work toward long-term relationships, not just brief encounters that are focussed on a single project. Long-term relationships tend to be more cost effective. Groups have more staying power than individuals. There can be no guarantee a partnership will be a lasting one, but here is a model that may be emulated--the Cave Research Foundation.

The Cave Research Foundation Model

The Cave Research Foundation (CRF) has worked in partnership with public lands managers, primarily in national parks, for 35 years. Started by a group of cave explorers, this volunteer organization has developed the capability to support and conduct research and resources management projects and has become the premier cave science organization in the world.

Several reasons account for the Foundation's successful partnerships. Cavers are a well defined interest group and CRF attracts those who are interested in contributing their time and talents to achieving Foundation goals. CRF supports and encourages multidisciplinary research, which tends to give a more comprehensive and cohesive picture of cave features and dynamics than would a single subject approach. Caves in protected areas tend to be excellent laboratories. The Foundation has been successful in attracting the most capable people to work in these exciting environments. CRF leaders have sufficient knowledge about the cave features or how to go about gaining that knowledge where they conduct their projects that they need very little guidance from the public lands managers on how to accomplish agreed upon objectives. They also take full responsibility for training all who work on projects under their auspices.

Because many of the burdens resource managers usually experience with volunteers (training, managing, supervising, finding something for them to do) do not exist with the Cave Research Foundation, time and energy may be spent on finding new opportunities for CRF to contribute to public lands programs. Because of its longevity, the Foundation is a well informed advocate for cave research and management objectives. It has a vested interest in understanding and protecting the special features at its partnership sites.

In many ways, CRF seems like a contractor. It offers professional capabilities, can define and complete tasks, and in many instances is willing to work under a schedule. It is different from a contractor in that it works primarily pro bono and is always looking for new ways to work with its partners. The partnerships the Foundation enters into tend to be open ended, unconstrained relationships that allow for creativity, innovation and quick response to changing needs or interests.

Military Installations

Military lands are federal property that has been withdrawn from public access. They are managed differently from the lands held by other federal agencies. The primary role of the resource manager is to keep the lands healthy for military purposes. Forestry, agriculture, public recreation, interpretation, and other programs are secondary. There are restrictions on access to and activities on military installations for reasons of national security and the presence of hazardous materials among others. Resource managers should be familiar with these restrictions as they apply to their service and installation. However, because using partners for resource stewardship is a fairly new concept, new laws and guidelines have been written that may change previous restrictions on using nonmilitary personnel in a resource management program.


"The authority to establish Volunteer and Partnership Cost-Share programs is provided by the National Defense Authorization Act, P.L. 101-189. Passed in November 1989, this legislation amended two acts and established volunteer and partnership programs for natural and cultural resources management on Department of Defense (DOD) lands. The DOD Authorization Act of 1984 (10 U.S.C. 1588 a-c) was amended to expand existing authority to use volunteers for military museums and family support programs to include acceptance of voluntary services for natural' and cultural resources programs at military installations. The Sikes Act (16 U.S. C. 670c-1) was amended to add the use of cooperative agreements with organizations and individuals having appropriate expertise and matching contributions for the maintenance and improvement of natural resources on, or to benefit natural and historic research at, DOD installations."2 (See also Appendix D)

Legacy Resource Management Program. Created by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1991, (P.L. 101-511[Nov. 5, 19901) the Legacy Resource Management Program has enhanced and expanded the Department of Defense's natural and cultural resource stewardship programs. Legacy funds have supported hundreds of demonstration projects, many of which were accomplished in partnership with federal agencies, state agencies, state and regional organizations, local agencies, universities, museums, laboratories, Native American tribes and organizations, private groups, and individual volunteers. This program has given a tremendous boost to involving partners with resource management and has shown the way to expand the traditional partners base (other government agencies) to include the private sector. A list of the legislative purposes of the Legacy Program appears in Appendix D.

The Department of Defense has issued guidelines for using volunteers in resource management programs. They describe both Volunteer and Partnership Cost-Share programs "to improve stewardship of DOD land through active involvement of the local community in DOD programs, and to conserve and restore important natural and cultural resources."3 This interim guide should help all the services develop and manage partnership programs until formal policy is finalized.

Partners or contractors. When considering involving non-military personnel in resource stewardship projects, decide whether troop labor will be satisfactory or whether more specialized skills are needed. Partnerships may be more appropriately viewed as replacing what might ordinarily be done under private contract if the funds were available. However, a word of caution: Partners are not contractors. Regulations that guide contractual work or work done by military personnel are mostly inappropriate for partnerships as presented here.

Purpose of partnership. In considering which resource management objectives may be best met through a partnership--either a new one or by expanding an existing one--the first step is to look at the purpose of the installation. The military manages its lands for sustaining or enhancing the military mission as wen as for other activities. Some of these include improving habitat for game management, managing a watershed for the installation water supply, supporting a timber sales program, protecting rare species and their habitat, preserving historic structures, and supporting the morale, welfare and recreation needs of installation personnel.

Finding Partners. The next step is to look for people who would be partners. Organized groups already involved in installation activities such as the rod and gun club, the military history club or the museum docents may become willing and able partners to help enhance the resource they are most concerned about. What natural or cultural features on the installation are most special to the area? For example, the only/best/largest--open space in an urban area; examples of 19th century officers houses; herd of Roosevelt Elk; natural habitat to support endemic species--will either already have strong advocates or can be used to attract talented partners.

Putting it Together

Written agreements. The best way to ensure the success of a partnership is to be sure that as much as can be is very clear between the partners from the beginning of the relationship. One path to clarity is via a written agreement in which the project is described. The formality of preparing the agreement gives the partners the incentive to think carefully about what they are committing themselves to do together. The more solid the platform on which the partnership is built, the more likely all anticipated outcomes will be reached. (See Appendix C for examples)

Types of projects. Although there is a great variety of resource management objectives to be accomplished on military lands, inventory and monitoring and environmental or cultural preservation projects seem to offer the best opportunities for long lasting partnerships. Short-term (one day or one week) projects that may include area cleanups, trail repair, or other maintenance related activities may be more appropriate for military labor or outside groups that are interested in focussed volunteer activities.

Long-term partnerships. The vision is to build long-term commitments between volunteer groups and military installations. One does not create a partnership in a few planning sessions or with signatures on a document. Partnerships grow and develop over time. As people or organizations who call themselves partners work together, producing, anticipated and perhaps even unanticipated results, the perceived value of what they are doing, and their respect for one another grow. If the sense of value and mutual respect exist from the beginning of the relationship, the partnership will mature quickly.

Why partnerships? You can depend on each other. Some of the uncertainties of time and level of commitment of volunteers are erased. Some of the mysteries of what happens on military installations that could help or hinder joint projects is resolved. Expectations are clearer; surprises are fewer; outcomes are more certain. The burden of decision making and project management may be more easily shared among the partners. Partnership is an exciting way to approach resource management of natural and cultural features on military installations.

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Why Build Partnerships

Need for assistance. Military installations need help in meeting immediate needs, that is, in solving problems. Think about the planning process that is required for installation management. An adequate Base Comprehensive Plan or Installation Master Plan requires detailed resource surveys, such as surveys of wetlands, cultural sites, and threatened and endangered species.4 Then there are a number of resource management requirements listed in laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act that exceed most installations' resource managers' capability to respond to without assistance. Military installations may be short staffed in resource management personnel. And there is too much to do to rely on contract labor alone. There are only so many hours in a day and there is never enough money or other support to get the whole job done. Volunteer assistance may be an option. With so much to be done, finding partners may be the answer to accomplishing more resource management objectives.


  • ACCOMPLISH OBJECTIVES - Some say it is the best way to get the job done.
  • LOW $ COST - Time, logistical support, contributed funds

  • BUILD GOOD COMMUNITY RELATIONS - Partners will relay theirpositive experiences to others.

  • BUILD ADVOCATES FOR YOUR PROGRAM - "Once they have dirt under their fingernails they are committed"

  • SOURCE OF FUNDS - Partners, local business, Legacy

  • FUN - Colleagues, devotees, teachers

  • AWARDS AND REWARDS - From the installation commander to the Secretary of Defense; local organizations as well.

Constituency building. Another reason for installation commanders to seek out partners is to meet long-term needs. A highly desirable goal is to develop a knowledgeable and devoted constituency for the installation. What better way than to get an organized group of people intimately involved in resource stewardship programs that are critical to resource protection, conservation or public awareness and education.

The way you manage the use of your lands is to promote your interests and invite qualified and interested people to join you in accomplishing your goals. You are looking for people with interests that are compatible with yours to be your partners. Many installations are fortunate to have a devoted constituency already. These are people who feel they "own" the place and are therefore very important to its standing in the community. In one instance you build a constituency from a base of mutual interest. In another you use an existing constituency to help you meet your goals.

Installation recognition. Partnerships with groups that have specific interests and talents can help you avoid problems and may even earn the installation recognition such as one of the Secretary of Defense's Natural Resources Conservation Awards or the Nature Conservancy's President's Award. Some successful partnerships have begun because an installation was in trouble on an issue of compliance with a resource management law or regulation. Others have been the logical outcomes of resource stewardship program activities.

Legacy Resource Management Program. An exciting new exploration of volunteer assistance and partnerships has arisen because of the Legacy Resource Management Program. Beginning in FY 1991 funds were made available to military installations to set up projects demonstrating inventory, conservation, and restoration of biological, cultural, and geophysical resources in partnership with public and private groups. Legacy has proven to be such an attractive program that its available funds are many times over subscribed.

New initiatives, especially those that are service-wide or DoD-wide, are often difficult to take advantage of unless you happen to have an in-house expert. If you have developed a partnership frame of mind or actually have a well established volunteer group working with you on resource management projects, you may have a ready source of expertise to help you take advantage of new opportunities. Many installations with successful Legacy programs enjoyed such partnerships prior to receiving their first Legacy funding.

Staff cutbacks. In an era of downsizing military personnel, an installation commander may be hard pressed to continue to meet all ongoing resource management obligations. A volunteer group may be able to take complete responsibility for some projects such as managing the installation museum.

If you buy into the partnership concept, you may need to consider restructuring how you allocate available funds. For instance, money you might have used to buy a contractor's time may go farther if used to support a Volunteer or Partnership Cost-Share project. You will find that your responsibility may become more one of managing and less one of doing projects. As you become successful at attracting partners to accomplish the installation's resource management programs, you will need to focus available funds on building the structure to support a much larger program than installation personnel alone will justify.

Who Are Potential Partners

From experts to enthusiasts. People who would give their time and talent to a voluntary effort on a military installation are likely motivated by passion, professional interest or pride. Enthusiasts are passionate about their causes and hobbies. Students, teachers and the like look for opportunities to pursue their professional interests. Current and former military personnel and their families take pride in the appearance and reputation of their home installation.

Your potential volunteer partners may be "credentialed" (subject matter experts) or "uncredentialed" (enthusiasts, hobbyists). Look for experts at universities, public agencies, corporations, museums, and libraries. They may also be found in professional societies, in certain focussed interest groups, among retirees (do not forget former officers and civilian installation employees), and among the "professions" and specialists such as computer applications experts. Enthusiasts may be found in service organizations, interest groups, and among students and retirees.

Existing groups. Perhaps the first place you should look for volunteers and partners is among existing installation supporters. Your biggest asset might be the former installation commander who just retired from the service. He and other retired service personnel could become the backbone of your partnership program, serving as project supervisors, providing training to project recruits, recruiting new partners, and helping keep the current installation commander fully informed of the partnership program. Another valuable asset for "selling" a partnership program is the families of current and former installation personnel who live in the community.

In many instances, a group already has a relationship with the installation that could be turned into a partnership. Take for example an installation rod and gun club. They are interested in fishing and hunting in the area. Would they be willing to take on some continuing responsibility for habitat restoration or wildlife management? If they were to do that, might they be interested in doing some other projects such as an inventory of all historical sites on the installation? You might ask why a rod and gun club would have any interest in doing a historical resources survey. The answer might surprise you.

People can become attached to a place and be willing to do all sorts of things if they are simply asked. Sometimes they need a little incentive, but often pride and connection to place are sufficient.

The Nature Conservancy. Sometimes what you want or need done leads you to a specific group. If you need an endangered species inventory, the first place to look is The Nature Conservancy. This nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation has a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense to do inventories for all military departments. Although there are costs involved with the Conservancy doing inventories, some savings may be realized if their professionals are supported by your volunteer group which is interested in, say, vegetation management.








Characteristics of group. In seeking to attract partners, spend some time thinking of who you want working with you as well as what you want done. A sizable support group may prove more valuable in the long run than a single individual. Remember the Cave Research Foundation model. Look for a self contained, disciplined group, one that will not demand a lot of your time either to train or supervise. Also, what you ideally want is someone who will say to you, "I know your priorities. My group is qualified and interested in doing this particular work with you."

If you have a particular need and cannot think of anyone who could help you, invent a group and then go find it. A national park scientist once described what seemed like an impossible situation. He was concerned that song birds might be diminishing in his park and he wanted to inspect their nests to see if they were successfully producing young. He had expert assistance available to him from the Audubon Society, but none of the members were capable of climbing the tall trees in the park, and observation from the ground proved unsatisfactory. What he needed was an interest group that enjoyed scaling very tall trees. They could team up with the Audubon Society members to whom they would report their observations while up in the trees. In fact, such a group really existed! Would they be willing to work with the Audubon Society in a national park in order to be allowed to climb some of the world's tallest trees? Why not ask them? There are groups that pursue every imaginable interest. A handy reference source is the Encyclopedia of Associations. (See Part VI)

Volunteers as partners. A final word about who to look for as partners. What we are promoting here is primarily the unpaid partner or volunteer. But do not let this designation take on a pejorative meaning for you. Full, tenured professors from Stanford who conduct research at Yosemite funded by the National Science Foundation are volunteers when they work and share information with the park. Others may see trash bags and tennis shoes when they hear the word "volunteer". For them, "partners" may be the better term to use to describe supporters, neighbors, members of the community, and others committed to your cause. Judge the value of the work done by its quality, not whether you paid for it.

What Can Partners Do

You seek partners to do what you want or need done; to do work that otherwise would not be done due to financial or personnel constraints. Through the installation's planning process, specifically the Base Comprehensive Plan, Installation Master Plan, the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, the Cultural Resource Management Plan, and any appended sub-plans, all installation resource management objectives are listed. The installation's budget and staffing level will determine which objectives will be addressed in any given year.

Project characteristics. The types of projects articulated in planning documents are varied. They may call for data gathering or application of knowledge to managing natural or cultural features. They may be short-term intensive, long-term sporadic, seasonal, high or low intellectual content, labor intensive, or require skills not found among current employees.

Level of expertise required. As you think about what you want partners to help you accomplish, as well as who might be available to work with you, think about what "uncredentialed" (see p. 10) partners might do. Candidate projects include inventory and monitoring, mapping for the installation geographic information system (GIS), data input into computers, photo-monitoring, vegetation management (rehabilitation, surveys, exotics control), archeological and historic building surveys, and field assistants for "credentialed" subject matter experts. Some of these projects could be managed by your partners, others might require the leadership of an expert of some sort.

Some partnership opportunities. Military installations participate in a number of national initiatives that could use or require partners. Some examples are:

  • National Tree Program. A program to plant and care for trees with a goal of planting, improving and maintaining one billion trees per year.

  • Coastal America Initiative. A program to protect, preserve, and restore the Nation's coastal ecosystems through government and private sector partnerships. The general areas of concern are habitat degradation and loss, non-point source pollution, and contaminated sediments.

  • Watchable Wildlife Program. A program to provide opportunities for viewing wildlife in natural settings. Sites are nominated for review by state committees. Site preparation and programs of conservation, education and recreation are conducive to partnerships.

  • Partners in Flight. A program to enhance and protect neotropical migratory birds (birds that breed in North America and winter in Latin America or the Caribbean) and wildlife habitat. An objective of the program is to develop species lists at critically situated installations.

Another productive partnership area is developing and managing recreational activities. DOD Directive 4700.4 states that the public shall have full access to DOD lands, "compatible with public safety and mission activities."6

Project selection criteria. Be creative in matching projects to prospective partners. Review the installation's Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan. List everything you would do if sufficient time and personnel were available. Delete projects that pose the following problems:

  • Health hazards to worker (unless trained)

  • Require a security investigation

  • Require heavy construction equipment for which partners are not trained

Look at the list from your partner's point of view. What might be appropriate as well as challenging or interesting?

The ideal project is one that leads to a long-term commitment with compatible partners. Start with something that has an end or specific result that can be reached in a year or two as a trial to see whether working as partners will be satisfactory. But remember that the investment you make in establishing a short-term partnership might be better made with a long-term partnership in mind.









Project responsibilities. Think about your own role in working with partners. In some instances you may be working together doing the same tasks. In other instances, you may be doing different tasks that are supportive of the overall goal of the project. For example, the project statement for managing the installation's rare plants calls for monitoring change among the plant populations and then taking whatever action is called for to preserve those populations. Your partnership group is running transacts through a 500 acre section of the installation noting the location and density of exotic trees. They enter this data into the installation's GIS. A previous inventory (including geographic location) of threatened species in the same area gives you a baseline against which you can monitor the impact of the exotics on the threatened species. Your partners provide the data; you do the analysis.

There are some projects that a partnership group could do entirely on its own. For instance, an appropriate group could identify all the historic properties on the installation, develop adaptive use plans for historic facilities that are not being used, and even prepare lease plans.

  The Legacy Resource Management Program. Using partners allows you to do more than your staff and available funds would ordinarily accomplish. Sometimes working with partners actually increases your available funds. The Legacy Resource Management Program encourages partnerships and allocates funds for resource stewardship projects. Even without Legacy funds, partners can be encouraged to find sponsors to support their projects. If you start with a funded project consider looking for partners who are capable of finding new funding sources when the time comes.

For some final thoughts on what to do, see Table 1. Examples of Natural and Cultural Resource Partnership Projects.

Table 1. Examples of Natural and Cultural Resource
Partnership Projects(5)

Fish and Wildlife Management
 Conducting wildlife surveys
 Long-term monitoring of wildlife and habitat
 Bird and bat banding; mammal radio collars
 Installing wildlife watering ponds, wells, and springs
 Constructing rearing ponds, spawning reefs, and sediment traps to improve fish
  production creating impoundments and protecting wetlands

Outdoor Recreation Management
 Conducting interpretive nature discovery walks and auto tours
 Developing programs to teach young people about the environment
 Constructing access lanes and trails for public recreation

Land Management
 Stabilizing shoreline and Stream-side areas
 Installing fences and riprap to reduce erosion and protect terrestrial and
  aquatic habitats
 Stabilizing semi-improved and unimproved roads and trails to reduce erosion
  and sedimentation

Vegetation Management
 Planting trees or other vegetation to restore or stabilize an area
 Timber stand improvement, e.g. thinning, pruning
 Forest inventory and monitoring: native plants, threatened and endangered
  species; exotics

Cultural Resource Management
 Participating in recovery of archeological and historical information
 Restoring historically significant structures
 Supporting historic tours linking historic resources on installations with
  state and local history
 Managing installation museum
 Recording oral histories

How to Attract and Keep Partners

Two important questions are how to attract partners, or where to look for partners, and how to maintain good partnerships. Basically the answers are, reach out and cultivate good relationships.

Expand interests of known groups. The first step in finding partners is to look among installation friends and users and expand their interests. Perhaps it has never occurred to these people that they could assist you in ways other than what they are doing now.

Look at your goals, objectives and tasks with an eye to getting others to do them--the Tom Sawyer approach. Energize interest groups and service organizations. The Nature Conservancy is touted as a very effective organization because it does things rather than just talk about them. Challenge other conservationists to expend their physical and intellectual energies on your behalf rather than just talking to or about you.

Attracting "experts". Some thoughts about attracting highly skilled partners with other than contract funds. When you contract for work, you get no more than you pay for, but you get it "on time" and in an agreed upon format. If you entice partners to pursue their interests on your installation, suggest some objectives that would fill some of your needs, help them find assistants (or whatever they might need), arrange for information sharing sessions (say, staff seminars), and otherwise make them feel very comfortable working on the installation, you will likely receive a much greater payoff for a minimal investment.

Sell the installation. The special features of your installation are your biggest asset and attraction. Bring potential partners to the installation. Show them what you are doing and what they could help with. Generate excitement about all the potential opportunities, challenges, and projects they could do. However, there is a tendency to put too much distance between installation personnel and partners. Avoid the "us" and "them" attitude. To break down potential barriers, design projects that have installation personnel and partners working together. Military installations are an excellent place for interest groups to "do their thing" while making a worthy contribution to resource management needs.

Communicating clearly. A key point, as in all things, is clear communications. Learn to describe installation needs in ways that fit the goals of potential partners. Help your volunteers understand how the military works. You need to be able to translate installation plans or objectives into language a volunteer group and its sponsor might understand. Make the partnership job description a cooperative effort. Resource management plans tend to talk about process. Your partners may be more interested in results. What will they do that will make a difference? Can one take before and after pictures or otherwise describe project results graphically? Perhaps describing measurable, tangible outcomes in Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans and even suggesting which objectives are best suited for partnerships would be a helpful addition to the planning process.

The time commitment. Looking for partners may be a time consuming pursuit. Cultivate an advocate to help you find and organize partnership projects. Recruit a volunteer to be in charge of other volunteers. Using skilled and organized groups rather than individuals to be your partners may save you time in the long run and produce greater results.

Plan on spending staff time in the negotiation stage. If you work out all logistical problems in the beginning, training time and supervision needs will likely be much reduced. Most installations do not have sufficient staff to handle a lot of volunteers. Finding or developing a group that is capable of managing its part of a partnership project will relieve supervision requirements noticeably. Give your partners as much responsibility for their projects as they can handle.


  • SELL THE INSTALLATION - Only/best/largest: open space in area; habitat for endangered or endemic species; collection: of historic buildings; place for you to pursue your special interests.

  • PARTNERS TO PURSUE THEIR INTERESTS - If you enjoy fishing here how about helping construct some rearing ponds? If you're concerned about historic buildings, would you help restore one of them? If you fret when open space turns into a housing development, help us locate and protect our endangered species.

  • CLEAR COMMUNICATIONS - Do they talk/understand military? Do you talk/understand volunteer partnerships? If you talk process and they talk product be sure all understand how that comes together.

  • THE AGREEMENT - Formal or informal? Two formal ones are a Volunteer Agreement and a Partnership Cost-Share Agreement.

  • SHOW AND TELL SESSIONS - Once your partnership project is producing results, give your partners a forum and audience.

  • BE PARTNERS WITH YOUR PARTNERS - Design projects for base personnel and partners working together.

  • GOOD WORK DESERVES PRAISE - "Thank You" goes a long way. A formal letter from the commander is extra special.

  • FIND NEW CHALLENGES - What is the next project? Is there a long term partnership in our future?

The partnership agreement. Once you have identified your potential partners, you should negotiate an agreement that clearly articulates what you are going to do together. The key is to get your goals accomplished. Partners' goals may be different. If your goals are too far apart, there will be no partnership. If your goals are fairly compatible, offer to support your partners' goals in exchange for them supporting yours.

The type of agreement you negotiate with a partner will depend on the nature of the project. A Volunteer Agreement is appropriate for individuals or members of a group who are acting as individuals in contributing their service. A Memorandum of Understanding may also be appropriate for describing an ongoing partnership that does not require the obligation of federal funds. A Partnership Cost-Share Agreement implies the obligation of federal funds and is appropriate for the development of cooperative efforts between the military installation and the partner for the mutual benefit of both.7 (See Appendix C for sample agreements)

Maintaining the partnership. Assign one staff member as liaison to the partnership group. This person's responsibility will be to keep the partnership moving along a smooth path, keeping records of accomplishments and offering suggestions for improvement. The partners report to this person, make requests and offer suggestions. Another major responsibility for this person is to keep the appropriate officers or other installation personnel informed of who the partners are and what they are doing. But the communication is two way. As the partnership matures, it may be appropriate for your partners to give a seminar or otherwise report on their project to a larger audience. This occasion can provide an opportunity for discussion of other projects they might be interested in.

Remember, you are looking to form a continuing relationship with and developing a knowledgeable constituent. Finding new and exciting challenges will be a good way to get your partners more firmly connected to the installation. Take advantage of every opportunity to let your partners know what you need and want. Do not assume a limited field of interest on the part of your partners. As they become attached to the installation rather than just to a project, they will be more inclined to help find people to join the partnership who have needed skills.

Start with something easy, then challenge them to meet other needs. Cultivate their interests. Point out how their relationship with the installation is special; give recognition for good work, then work them into new areas. Be colleagues and friends with you partners. Call upon them for both advice and favors.

Partnership Costs

Indirect costs. Nothing worth-while is without its costs, even for people who volunteer their time and pay their own expenses. Consider the following costs: staff time (at least in the planning and negotiating stages), services (use of computer, photocopier), equipment use, and building maintenance. Frequently, the biggest single need is housing.

This ranges from providing full time housing for a resident researcher, to bunk space for a group that either comes from a distance or needs to be on the installation more than one day at a time to do useful work on their project. Providing housing is difficult for many installations, but if this is a potential need of a partner, consider what you will do about it early on.

Direct costs. Other costs that may be a part of a partnership project are volunteer expenses,8 a specific contract, or an allocation of installation funds to support the project. If you recruit some individual volunteers who are already working on the installation to join together and work on a resource management project, you may have to continue to pay their travel and subsistence expenses if they are already receiving that reimbursement. Although ideally the installation's unique features should be sufficient to attract skilled personnel, in order to meet a specific objective within a partnership project, it may be desirable to let a contract. Some projects may need both a labor force and a budget to accomplish results. Your partners would supply the labor, while installation funds might be directed to the project to buy equipment or pay for laboratory analyses.

Another type of cost concerns liability, property damage and accidents. Existing DOD regulations and the interim volunteer guidelines will cover some of these concerns. Others may need to be addressed according to current installation policy. Be sure they are properly resolved during negotiations with potential volunteer partners.

Building partnerships to accomplish installation objectives takes thought, time, effort, and patience. Give thought to what would make a good partnership project. Take time to find good partners. Expend the effort to nurture the partnership from the beginning. With patience you will succeed.

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The following are descriptions of several partnership and volunteer projects that installations of the various services have initiated.


The conservation manager at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) has adopted the partnership mode as the way to accomplish resource stewardship on her installation. With a small staff and little money for contracts the decision to work with partners was pretty easy, especially since they approached her with the proverbial offer that was difficult to refuse.

"I use partnerships as the first solution to all my stewardship requirements. The Conservation Program at YPG has partnerships with the Soil Conservation Service and the local Natural Resource Conservation District for land restoration and native Plant protection; with the Bureau of Land Management for wild horse and burro management; with the AZ State Historic Preservation Officer and the AZ Historical Society for Oral Histories of the World War II era; with AZ Western College, Yuma County Math and Science Teachers Consortium and YPG's Child Development Program for the Nature Discovery educational program; and with the Yuma Archeological Society to map and record a prehistoric intaglio to name a few."9

A particularly outstanding and successful partnership has evolved with the AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep Society (ADBSS). Since 1989 they and other groups have worked with YPG to expand populations of the desert sheep to habitats previously unused for lack of reliable water sources. In five years the multi-partner group has built 9 water catchments, at an average cost of $18,000 to $25,000 (plus labor) each, and completed an aerial reconnaissance and implementation plan for locating future catchments.

Project costs are shared by the partners. The primary source of support is the ADBSS's contribution of construction materials and equipment, helicopter rental and volunteer labor. The AZ Game and Fish Department (AGFD) provides the project design and logistics as well as supervisory labor and heavy equipment. YPG provides the preliminary mentoring to get the projects through the permits and approvals maze. On site, YPG staff contribute technical expertise and troubleshooting. In order to complete three catchments in 1991, YPG contributed $20,000 from Legacy funds. Two other organizations have been major contributors to the water catchment program, particularly as it may assist desert species other than sheep. Desert Wildlife Unlimited has contributed technical expertise and volunteers; the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club has provided volunteers. A couple from Oregon has contributed $40,000 to the project through ADBSS's "Water hole Auction" fund raising event.

The greatest benefit to YPG of all its resource stewardship partnerships is that the partners share ownership through their toil and have thus become loyal supporters and strong constituents for the installation. Partnerships cost less money than contracts and are more fun to manage. The installation commander has cited the resource stewardship partnerships as models for building good community relations. His exhortations to other YPG programs is, go and do likewise.

To date, no problems have arisen because of the partnerships. Agreements are in place with both the AGFD and the partners that describe roles and relationships and provide appropriate personal safety and liability coverage.

The partnerships are successful because everyone feels they are getting the most out of the arrangement. At YPG, decisions are arrived at by consensus, which can be time consuming, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. After all, why would a couple from Oregon contribute $40,000 to a project in Arizona if they did not have a passion for the beneficiaries and a good deal of pride in their partners?


Fifteen hundred feet of eroding shoreline on the Severn River experienced a major rehabilitation when a number of public and private entities formed a partnership with the U.S. Naval Station. Together they built an offshore breakwater and created a marsh by planting 20,000 plugs of native marsh grasses (Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens).

The "partners" in this project included Anne Arundel Community College, Providence Center (a developmentally disabled group who planted much of the grass), Nevamar Corporation (laminate product manufacturer), Chesapeake Bay Foundation (citizen's group), U.S. Fish and Wildlife - Service, Naval Construction Battalion Unit 403 (Seabees), U.S. Naval Academy, and Chesapeake Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The project made creative use of recycled materials (discarded sidewalks from the U.S. Naval Academy helped form the breakwater), and saved taxpayer money by using volunteer labor. The Navy has received excellent publicity from the project for being a contributing member of the community, a good steward of public land, an innovator in shoreline erosion control, and an active participant in the Chesapeake Bay clean up effort.

This project helped meet the Navy's natural resources conservation goal of achieving a net gain in wetlands.


1600 acres that had been drained and levied were restored to high quality wetlands. There being no active military use for the area, it was reclaimed to improve the overall environment of the Base. Partners in this project included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USWFS), the Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Service (LAFWS) and the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). A private group wished to assist the project, but they could not meet the time constraints of the project.*

The partners were assembled to assist in planning the project. LAFWS contributed some equipment and the USFWS contributed some materials. But it was the expertise of all the partners that produced a good plan and led to project success.

The restoration was completed in the fall. The following spring a large heron and egret nesting rookery established in the wetland. Approximately 5,000 birds nested there, including the first white ibis and great white heron known to take up residence in this area. An eight mile canoe trail was established that permitted people to traverse the waterway and see wetland plants and animals.

Although Barksdale is a closed base, the Base forester has built a collegial relationship with bird watching groups, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, whom he takes on tours. From this recreational outreach has come one partner who is putting in bluebird boxes. The Nature Conservancy has responsibility for an endangered species survey. The Base forester is considering starting a red cockaded woodpecker (endangered species) colony--an ideal partnership project.


For years Quantico has had a very popular hunting program that has attracted both active and retired military as well as civilian applicants for permits. Since 1983, volunteers--mostly hunters--have supported a wide-ranging series of projects that have directly assisted the Base natural resource managers. In 1993, 141 volunteers contributed 12,000 hours of expertise and labor. One of the incentives is that active volunteers, whether retired military or civilian, have the same priority in applying for hunting permits as active military do.


*NOTE: An important point for land managers and their potential partners to recognize is the importance of deadlines. In some cases, timing is critical; in others it is not.


During a three year period, volunteers did a complete historical survey of the 60,000 acre Base. Walking 50 feet apart they located and mapped all the known historical artifacts, as well as 30 previously unknown cemeteries and 350 old home sites. Other projects for which volunteers have assumed responsibility include erecting a wildlife viewing platform, keeping 200 miles of trails cleared on a yearly basis, improving fish habitat, conducting waterfowl census weekly, and writing programs for computerized database management.

Quantico's Conservation Volunteer Program (CVP) operates under a base order that provides guidance for the program. The program accepting official may accept both individuals and organized groups into the CVP.

By 1989, the volunteer program had grown too large for the natural resource managers to supervise and coordinate as well as accomplish all their other responsibilities. Coordination and supervisory responsibilities were assigned to several volunteer coordinators who now administer the Conservation Volunteer Program under the direction of the Base natural resource manager. They take applications, determine interests and then assign tasks to the volunteers. They then line up the projects, assign volunteers and record their hours. These coordinators donate 500 to 600 hours per year.

Training volunteers in safety procedures, the use of tools, and the specifics of the projects takes several hundreds of hours per year. This would be an impossible task, if the volunteer coordinators did not do much of the training.

At Quantico, the Conservation Volunteer Program has proved to be highly desirable. Without it, the natural resource managers would have to spend more of their time supervising field work rather than planning the Base's overall resource management program. More labor intensive projects can be accomplished because of the existence of the CVP.


What does an Army installation do with over 900 structures that are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places? Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX is finding the answer and is developing some model partnership projects in the process.

In 1987 Fort Sam Houston was being operated by the U.S. Army without full awareness of its responsibilities to protect the historic resources under its stewardship as specified by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. In response, serious legal action by local historic preservation groups was imminent. Over the next four years the installation corrected the problem and its internal management deficiencies while demonstrating a "spirit of good faith." This positive approach made available the use of a Programmatic Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in 1991. This agreement relaxed the coordination of certain undertakings and exempted routine maintenance from Section 106 review.

A former critic of Fort Sam Houston, the San Antonio Conservation Society, was one of the concurring signatories to the Programmatic Agreement. This well respected and powerful group of preservationists has become the installation's biggest supporter and partner in promoting demonstration projects.

The Society meets with Fort Sam Houston's leaders regularly to provide input on the design of new projects affecting historic buildings and to view special projects directed at the rehabilitation of significant resources associated with the Army's historic presence in the region. Both the Society and the City of San Antonio have provided active encouragement to the installation in its quest for funding through the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program.

Fort Sam Houston received Legacy funding in FY 1992 and 1993 to be directed at the rehabilitation of an 1890's historic enclave known as the Infantry Post. The first year provided for the contracting of complete architectural documents to direct the rehabilitation of 14 historic buildings. The second year's funding spawned a partnership opportunity which focussed upon the brick and mortar rehabilitation of the Band Barracks, one of the 25 most endangered buildings in the State of Texas.

This ambitious partnership was unique not only due to the number of diverse agencies working together but most importantly by establishing a hands on "graduate level" training course for 30 DoD craft-workers representing the Army, Air Force and the Navy. Managing participants involved in this successful Legacy project were Fort Sam Houston, National Park Service (Williamsport Training Center), Corps of Engineers Research Laboratory, Corps of Engineers Training Management Directorate (Huntsville), and the Texas State Historic Preservation Office.

Concurrent with the Band Barracks demonstration project was yet another partnership down the street at the abandoned Stilwell House. This lovely, but neglected commander's residence was adopted by the Society for the Preservation of Historic Fort Sam Houston. As a long time supporter of the docent program at the installation museum, this group has recently signed an agreement to assume the management of the historic building that formerly housed the museum. The Society is raising private funds to accomplish the rehabilitation of the building. [The Society receives direct donations from patrons across the country which are supplemented by various fund raisers highlighted by the annual "Victorian Gala," an evening ball for hundreds featuring period costume, food, dance, and music of the 1890's.]

They will hire a contractor for the initial maintenance and repair tasks, and work with other volunteer groups to establish and maintain the landscaping.

Fort Sam Houston's partners are its neighbors - the citizens of the local community who have played a key role in encouraging the installation to embark on its path of active stewardship concerning historic resources. A program which stresses philosophy by going "beyond compliance" with federal preservation laws.


Camp Bullis sits upstream and partially on top of the recharge area of the Edwards Aquifer, the source of drinking water for San Antonio, TX and much of the surrounding area. A primary concern of the Camp's resource manager is that military training activities do not adversely affect the aquifer. In order to expedite ground clearance for these activities, the installation has recently negotiated an agreement with the University of Texas at San Antonio to provide a number of services. Prior to this agreement university students had been doing work at Camp Bullis for several years. The Camp is thus continuing to provide an environment for student research.

The Center for Archeological Research at the University can provide a team on short notice to do an archeological survey and mitigation report to assure minimal construction delays. This arrangement also provides a laboratory class for students.

A number of graduate students are doing research on environmental issues. One study proved that surface water on Camp Bullis flows out of the installation, not into it. Therefore, any pollutants found in the ground water within the Camp's boundaries could not have come from outside the boundaries. This finding is critical to the resource manager's being able to track military activity as the cause of any aquifer degradation by eliminating other pollution sources as the possible cause. The good news is that ground water in caves downstream of Camp Bullis is clean and is supporting a healthy biological community.

Camp Bullis and the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) are long-term partners in studying soil conditions on the installation. SCS sets up experiments on the installation, the results of which benefit both partners.

Other long-term partners at Camp Bullis include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy has entered into an agreement with the installation to help improve wildlife habitat. Under this agreement they can use volunteers to assist the project.

In selecting his partners, the resource manager at Camp Bullis has sought out reputable organizations with appropriate expertise. His many successes prove his good judgement.


A goal set by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) is to "enrich the biological health of the marine environment in which the Navy operates and increase the productivity of natural resources found on Navy and Marine Corps installations."10 Under the banner of Coastal America, an initiative that encourages partnerships to ensure stewardship of coastal living resources is successful, the Naval Air Station joined nine other public agencies, three special interest groups and 18 corporate sponsors in a shoreline stabilization at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

The goal of the project is to protect the eroding critical habitat of the endangered whooping crane. The cranes are dependent upon food available in the brackish and freshwater ponds adjacent to the shoreline of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The ponds are experiencing saltwater intrusion and scouring due to erosion of the shoreline. Barge and boat traffic in addition to natural currents and winds contribute to the ongoing erosion.

The project involved over 400 volunteers who placed 23,000 bags of cement at eroding sites. The Department of the Navy funded an educational video in cooperation with the Corpus Christi Army Depot. The video emphasizes habitat protection, endangered species protection, volunteerism, and inter-agency activities.


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH - Several Boy Scout projects have enhanced the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the site where the Wright Brothers perfected their understanding and control of the aerodynamics of flight and operated one of the first schools of aviation. One Eagle Scout Project created the Wright Brothers Historical Walking Tour. The Scouts erected interpretive signs and also produced an initial brochure about the site keyed to the walking path.

Fort Bliss, TX - The installation archeologist called upon long-term associates (partners) to develop a video tape on archeological awareness for army personnel. The partners are associated with a local museum and the University of Texas. The professor from the University sees the partnership with Fort Bliss as providing professional research opportunities for his students. Fort Bliss receives assistance with environmental compliance regulations at very little direct cost.

Fort Huachuca, AZ - The installation archeologist enlisted both amateur and professional archeologists from the region to help record and interpret prehistoric rock art. Finding archeological expertise was not difficult. Those who needed training were put through a field school supported by Fort Huachuca staff. The attractiveness of the subject matter brought in the partners, only a few of whom required their subsistence expenses to be covered in order to participate.

Some Headlines

  • National Trail that runs through Air Force Range is maintained by a private group

  • Local group helped put together endangered species list

  • Archeology project involves local Native Americans and others

  • Nature trail and interpretive center realized through public/private partnership

These examples are but a few of the many success stories military installations are experiencing with resource management partnerships.

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1. Department of Defense, RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE TO VOLUNTEER AND PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS (interim guidance issued January 1994), p. 1-2.

2. Ibid., p. 1-1.

3. Ibid., p. 1-1.

4. Department of Defense, MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES: AIR FORCE MODULE. Reference Guide and Workshop Manual p. 5-2.

5. RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE, pp. 1-2 to 1-3.


7. RESOURCE MANAGER'S GUIDE, pp. 2-5 and 3-1.

8. Ibid., pp. 2-10 to 2-12.

9. Valerie Morrill, Conservation Manager, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. Personal communication.

10. BUILDING ALLIANCES TO RESTORE COASTAL ENVERONMENTS, A Coastal America Progress Report, January 1993, p. 7.

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Creating effective partnerships can be difficult, so it is important to identify methods through which they can be built. The following basic tenets related to partnerships can help to avoid common pitfalls:

  • React quickly to proposals. To be perceived as a good partner, generally respond in several weeks and mobilize resources to begin the project a few weeks later. Do not expect partners to wait around if it takes you months to make a decision and line up people and funds.

  • Be very specific about the common project to be undertaken. Write everything down; spell everything out in detail; show a breakdown of budgets in as much detail as possible; document which parties will be responsible for which tasks in what specific time frames. Have frequent meetings to make sure everyone involved is still thinking the same. Focus on complete honesty from the beginning. Partnerships are great for building bridges, but they can also create conflicts. Something clearly spelled out in writing is less likely to result in misunderstandings and misperceptions later.

  • Take what partnerships are available. Build a positive base with people who are going to be in the area for a long time. The more long-lasting partnerships are between long-term groups that exist at the local level. Do not get focused on huge organizations or large amounts of money and concentrate only on rainbows. Partnerships, donations, grants, etc., with large companies or institutions are desirable, but remember there are people around with whom you can continue to work with for years to come. A variety of small partnerships can be worth much more than one large one.

  • Do not take on too many partners at the start of a project. Work on building strong ties with two or three interested people or groups. Define the project; establish your partnership documents; get things underway, and then seek people who want to join the parade. Generally, the larger the group, the more difficult it is to solidify the essential details and philosophy to be pursued. Having laid the foundation and begun work, you will be ready to include others who are interested in helping out.

  • Target key decision-makers. Find those individuals who have the ability and authority to say "Go." The larger the organization you attempt to involve or the higher the levels of bureaucracy you attempt to contact, the more difficult the task and the longer it will take to get started.

  • Once you have a partnership project lined up, approach businesses that might have something to gain by seeing the project completed. Virtually all private businesses are bombarded with requests to support worthy projects. Most are already committed to following a particular direction. There is not an unlimited pot of money in the private sector; competition is fierce for available dollars, and businesses will put their money where they believe they can get the best return. If you really have a good project, the private -Motor will recognize it.

  • Select projects that can be completed in a short time - definitely less than a year, and preferably in three to six months. Partners will want to complete the project and begin to reap the rewards quickly. Avoid long-term projects, which have a way of attracting every imaginable problem and complication and also carry the risk of loss of commitment, or key players leaving or being forced to focus on higher-priority problems.

  • Be prepared and committed to supply the key people to reach project completion. Sometimes one partner may not be able to do all the work they intended. While there is a sharing of the labor and costs, there is also an implicit commitment to work hard to make sure the project is completed. Do not expect a partnership to be easier just because other people are involved.

  • Complete the project! If you are getting into the partnership game for the first time, your credibility is at stake. Do whatever it takes to get the project done as described and on time. When looking for partners, look for people who have been successful in the past. Avoid those who have a track record of uncompleted work. Good partners will be looking at you in the same light.

  • Find those people who are committed to getting the project done, who put project completion first and their own salaries and existence second. Avoid potential partners who are focused on the funds or materials you can supply, or who are more preoccupied with dollars than with the end result. Many groups are trying to fund their organizations and overhead costs by way of partnerships.

  • Communicate, work hard, help your partners if they need it, do quality work no matter what, have fun, and celebrate when the job is done. Do not be too concerned about which partner contributes how much or who gets the credit. If you have selected good partners, everyone will be contributing all they can. You will all be equally committed and working for a common goal. Commitment and integrity are the key.



(Act of November 1989 Public Law 101-189)





Brief description of work to be performed, including minimum time commitments required. (Attach complete job description.)



I will contribute my services from ________ to approximately ________. I understand that I will not receive any compensation for the above work, and that volunteers are NOT considered to be Federal employees for any purpose other than tort claims and injury compensation, and I understand that volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits. I also understand that either the Department of Defense or I may cancel this agreement at any time by notifying the other party. I hereby volunteer my services as described above, to assist the Department of Defense in its authorized work.

(Signature of volunteer or a parent or guardian)    (Date)

We will contribute our service from ________ to approximately ________. We agree to obtain parental or guardian consent for each individual under 18 years of age and to comply with applicable child labor laws. We understand that the individuals volunteering under this agreement will not receive any compensation for the above work and that they will NOT be considered to be Federal employees for any purpose other than tort claims and injury compensation, and we understand that volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefits. We also understand that either the Department of Defense or we may cancel this agreement at any time by notifying the other party. We agree to provide the Department of Defense with a listing of active participants, home address, and the number of hours each contributed, when and as requested.

(Signature of group representative)      (Date)

The Department of Defense agrees, while this agreement is in effect, to provide such materials, equipment and facilities as are available and needed to perform the work described above, and to consider individuals volunteering under this agreement as Federal employees only for the purpose of tort claims and compensation for work related injuries.

(Signature of Accepting Officer)    (Date)



(Signature of Terminating Officer)     (Date)

(Signature of Volunteer/Group Representative)    (Date)


(Act of November 1989 Public Law 101-189)


The Department of the Defense


(Full Name of the Partner)

For the Construction Of The

(Full Name of the Project)

THIS PARTNERSHIP COST-SHARE AGREEMENT, is hereby made and entered into by and between ____________, hereinafter referred to as the Partner and the ____________, U.S. Department of Defense, hereinafter referred to as the DoD, under the provisions of the Defense Authorization Act, P.L. 101-189 (which amended the Sikes Act, 16 USC 670c-1).

WITNESSETH: (The following are example statements - modify to meet your needs; however, one must identify mutuality of benefit as the primary reason for entering into the agreement.)

WHEREAS, the DoD manages Defense lands which include opportunities and,

WHEREAS, the Partner is interested in promoting and assisting the DoD in these opportunities and,

WHEREAS, it is mutually beneficial for both the Partner and the DoD to work cooperatively to make these opportunities available to the public and,

WHEREAS, the DoD is willing to reimburse for the agreed upon expenses actually incurred by the Partner. (mandatory for agreements where reimbursement will be made)

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above premises, the parties hereto agree as follows:


1. Perform (or have performed) all necessary (construction/maintenance/ studies/research) work as stated here consistent with the attached financial project plan: (include supplies, equipment, materials, and labor provided to complete all project work)

2. Bill the DoD (monthly or upon completion of project) for actual costs incurred for all service, transportation, tools, or equipment and materials as agreed upon in the financial project plan. Billings shall consist of a statement or SF-270 and itemized receipts submitted to:
DoD Supervisor
City, State, zip code
(mandatory for reimbursable agreement)

3. Give DoD or the Comptroller General, through any authorized representative, access to and the right to examine all books, papers, or documents related to the award. (mandatory for reimbursable agreement)

4. Provide, during cash payments required to meet its obligations of this Agreement. Total project costs are presently estimated to be $ ________. In order to meet its contribution as specified in the Partnership Financial Plan, the Partner must provide a cash or in-kind contribution presently estimated to be $ ________.


1. Reimburse the Partner up to the agreed upon price for actual costs incurred as provided in the attached financial project plan. Payment will be made upon receipt of itemized invoices furnished by the Partner. (mandatory for reimbursable agreement)

2. Provide to the Partner any and all supplies, materials, and equipment as agreed upon and identified here:

3. Provide leadership for planning and technical expertise in the design (and construction) of the project.



1. The work under this agreement shall be completed no later than __________ (mandatory)

2. The DoD, in writing, may terminate the agreement in whole, or in part, at any time before the date of expiration, whenever it is determined that the other party(s) has materially failed to comply with the conditions of this agreement. The other party(s) shall not incur any new obligations for the terminated portion of the agreement after the effective date and shall cancel as many obligations as is possible. Full credit shall be allowed for the DoD share of the obligations incurred to the effective date and all noncancellable obligations properly incurred by the cooperating party(s) prior to termination. (the entire clause is mandatory for reimbursable agreements only the First sentence is mandatory for other agreements)

3. Any monies that are payable from the Unites States under this agreement to any person or legal entity not an agency or subdivision of a State or local government may be subject to administrative offset for the collection of any debt the person or legal entity owes to the United States. Information on the person's or legal entity's responsibility for a commercial debt owed the United States shall be disclosed to consumer or commercial credit reporting agencies. (mandatory for reimbursable agreement)

4. The Partner shall comply with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. These include but are not limited to: (a) Tide VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964 (P. L. 88-352), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, handicap, or national origin; (b) Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683, and 1685-1686), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. (mandatory)

5. Improvements placed on DoD land at the direction of either of the parties, shall thereupon become the property of the United States, and shall be subject to the same regulations and administration of the DoD as all other DoD improvements of a similar nature. (as applicable)

6. This agreement in no way restricts the DoD from participating with other public or private agencies, organizations, and individuals or from accepting contributions and/or gifts for the improvement development, administration, operation, and preservation of this or any other project. (mandatory)

7. No part of this agreement shall entitle the Partner to any share or interest in the project other than the right to use and enjoy the same under the existing regulations of the DoD (as applicable, generally used for projects where improvements are placed on DoD land)

8. No member of, or Delegate to Congress shall be admitted to any share or part of this agreement, or any benefits that may arise therefrom; but this provision shall not be construed to extend to this agreement if made with a corporation for its general benefit (mandatory)

9. Nothing herein shall be considered as obligating the DoD to expend or as involving the United States in any contract or other obligations for the future payment of money in excess of appropriations authorized by law and administratively allocated for this work. (mandatory for reimbursable agreements)

10. This agreement may be revised as necessary by mutual consent of both parties, by the issuance of a written amendment, signed and date by both parties. (mandatory)

11. Either party may terminate the agreement by providing 60 days written notice, unless terminated by DoD unilaterally for cause in accordance with Article 2 of this section. (mandatory)

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed the Agreement as of the last date written below.

(Partner) (U.S. Department of Defense)

By: _________(Signature)_______ By: _________(Signature)_______

Date: _____________ Date: ______________




Section 1588(a) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking out "a museum" and inserting in lieu thereof "a museum, a natural resources program,".

10 U.S.C. _ 1588. Authority to accept certain voluntary services

(a) Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, Secretary concerned may accept from any person voluntary services to be provided for a museum, a natural resources program, or a family support program operated by the military department concerned or the Coast Guard, as appropriate.

(b) A person providing voluntary services under subsection (a) shall be considered to be an employee for the purposes ofchapter 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for work-related injuries, and to be an employee of the Government for the purposes of chapter 171 of title 28, relating to tort claims. Such a person who is not otherwise employed by the Federal Government shall not be considered to be a Federal employee for any other purpose by reason of the provision of such services.

[c) The Secretary concerned may provide for reimbursement of incidental expenses which are incurred by a person providing voluntary services under subsection (a) as an ombudsman or for a family service center program. The Secretary shall determine which expenses are eligible for reimbursement under this subsection. Any such reimbursement may only be made from non-appropriated funds.


(a) IN GENERAL.--The Act entitled "An Act to promote effectual planning, development, maintenance, and coordination of wildlife, fish, and game conservation and rehabilitation in military reservations' (popularly known as the "Sikes Act'), approved September 15, 1960 (16 U.S.C. 670a et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 103 the following new section:

16 USC 670c-I
"SEC. 103a. (a) The Secretary of Defense may enter into cooperative agreements with States, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals to provide for the maintenance and improvement of natural resources on, or to benefit natural and historic research on, Department of Defense installations.
"(b) A cooperative agreement shall provide for the Secretary of Defense and the other party or parties to the agreement--
 "(1) to contribute funds on a matching basis to defray the cost of programs, projects, and activities under the agreement; or
 "(2) to furnish services on a matching basis to carry out such programs, projects, and activities, or to do both.
"(c) Cooperative agreements entered into under this section shall be subject to the availability of funds and shall not be considered, nor be treated as, cooperative agreements to which chapter 63 of title 31, United States Code, applies."


Re Cooperative agreements for land management (sec. 2845) The conferees note that this amendment to the Sikes Act would allow private conservation organizations, groups and individuals opportunities to assist financially and furnish services for programs that maintain and improve natural resources on defense installations. The current program administered by the Department of Defense in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior and the appropriate state Fish and Wildlife agency carries out the development, enhancement, operation and maintenance of public outdoor recreational resources on military reservations. This provision would not replace any current programs or activities called for in existing cooperative agreements, but rather would allow for additional natural resource management and conservation. By way of example, the conferees note that the amendment would allow conservation organizations actively participating in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan to assist the Department of Defense in the restoration and enhancement of waterfowl habitat on military reservations. Apart from waterfowl and wetlands conservation, volunteers could furnish their services to assist in a variety of natural resource management activities. These opportunities could provide benefits for many fish and wildlife resources as well as overall natural resource management programs on military reservations throughout the Nation.

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