Procurement contracting and forest communities: Factors affecting local business utilization in the inland Northwest

Chelsea P. McIver, Alexander L. Metcalf, Erik C. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Economic conditions in rural communities adjacent to large tracts of public land are disproportionately affected by federal land-use decisions. Policy interventions such as the Northwest Forest Plan have served as natural experiments for testing how management decisions impact communities in the Pacific Northwest. Less is known about how these decisions affect communities in other parts of the West. Using the lens of job opportunities, we analyzed national forest procurement contracts in Montana to identify characteristics associated with the utilization of local versus distant contractors. Results demonstrated that some federal small business assistance programs and work types substantially diminished local business utilization, while others served to keep dollars more local, albeit to a lesser degree. To enhance local business utilization, policy makers may consider strengthening local preference authorities, increasing accessibility by bolstering agency contract management capacity, or adjusting small business assistance programs to work in concert with local benefit goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 20 2018


Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the USDA Forest Service, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. They thank Elizabeth Dodson, Christiane Von Reichert, and Cory Davis for their professional guidance.

FundersFunder number
Bureau of Business and Economic Research
U.S. Forest Service-Retired


    • Forest communities
    • Montana
    • Procurement contracting
    • USDA Forest Service


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