Partnership for Success



We the "Hispanics – Partners for Success," in the spirit of cooperation and support of our Forest Service Mission, as agreed by the Chief, form an association to assist the Agency in achieving a multicultural work force. As a key component of a multicultural work force, we will be a liaison between the USDA Forest Service and the Hispanic Community and as our numbers grow, we will be better prepared to serve our divers publics. With the Charter and these companion Bylaws, we will achieve our vision by:

  1. Hispanics – Partners for Success – Remaining a vital component of a multicultural work force;
  2. Serving as the liaison between the Hispanic community and other colleagues;
  3. Assisting the Forest Service in implementing the task force diversity report "Toward a Multicultural Organization," dated March 1991; and,
  4. Assisting the Agency in addressing Hispanic issues.


The name of the Association shall be Forest Service Hispanic Employees Association (FSHEA) referred hereafter.


The FSHEA Motto shall be "Hispanics – Partners for Success."


The FSHEA is formed for the purpose of collectively addressing issues affecting the Hispanic community. Our purpose is fulfilled by:

  1. Promoting unity among all Forest Service Hispanic employees and all Forest Service colleagues.
  2. Assisting each other in achieving individual career goals.
  3. Taking responsibility for developing our skills to meet current and future needs of the Forest Service.
  4. Being pro-active with the Forest Service management to ensure that the development and implementation of policy is sensitive to the cultural values of Hispanic employees and the Hispanic community.
  5. Working with Forest Service management to ensure that the talents and skills of Hispanic employees are recognized and utilized at all levels of the organization.


Section 1 – There shall be two types of memberships in the FSHEA:

  1. Member
  2. Associate Member

Section 2 – Definitions

  1. A member is defined as any permanent, temporary, or retired Forest Service employee current with Association dues.
  2. An associate Member is defined as any individual or organization (not Forest Service) that supports the FSHEA purposes and goals and is current with Association dues.

Section 3 – All Members shall have the right to participate in any FSHEA discussion and may vote on any issue brought before Membership. Associate Member shall have the right to participate in FSHEA discussions but shall not have voting status.

Section 4 – Membership Applications

  1. Application for FSHEA Membership as a Member or Associate Member shall be on the FSHEA Application Form provided by the Membership Committee.
  2. All applications for Membership shall be sent to the Membership Committee for review to ensure that the applicant complies with the eligibility requirements for FSHEA membership as contained in the FSHEA Charter and Bylaws.
  3. The Chair of the FSHEA Membership Committee shall promptly notify each applicant of the approval or denial of his or her application. Notices of denial of membership into the FSHEA shall contain the reason for the denial.
  4. Membership shall be accomplished through a Service-wide Membership drive as follows:
    1. Membership Applications shall be sent through Forest Service Networks; and/or
    2. Through normal Forest Service Channels.
  5. Membership Termination – FSHEA Membership may be terminated by:
    1. Voluntary resignation from the FSHEA.
    2. Failure to pay FSHEA dues after a grace period of three (3) months from the date the dues were to be received.
  6. Reinstatement – Former FSHEA Members and Associate Members terminated under Article V.4.e. 1) and 2) above shall be eligible for reinstatement into the FSHEA Membership provided they meet the current FSHEA Membership requirements.


Section 1 – Membership Dues

An initial application fee for membership in the FSHEA shall be assessed upon original application for admission into the FSHEA.
The initial application fee for FSHEA Membership shall be based on grade level. GS–1 through GS–5 pays $25.00. GS–6 and above would pay $25.00 plus $5.00 for each additional grade. No additional FSHEA dues will be assessed until the following year. The application fees for retired employees will be based on their grade at retirement.

Section 2 – Annual Dues

After the initial application fee and first year of membership, the annual FSHEA dues shall be $20.00 for both Members and Associate Members.

Section 3 – Payment of Dues

Payment of annual FSHEA dues are payable upon or before the first of January in accordance with the assessment structure for FSHEA dues adopted by the FSHEA National Council.

Section 4 – Hardship Cases

In the event a Member cannot pay their dues because of financial hardship, the FSHEA Membership Committee can provide consideration for a waiver or reduction of dues on a case-by-case basis.

Section 4 – Voluntary Contributions

Voluntary contributions from Forest Service employees will be accepted. Definitions and amounts will be set when the National Council is formed.


Section 1 – National Council and Officers

  1. The FSHEA shall be governed by a body known as the National Council. The National Council shall consist of four officers and one to three representatives from each FSHEA zone. Officers of the FSHEA shall consist of a Chair, Co-chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The National Council shall be responsible for establishing FSHEA policy, providing fiscal support, budgeting, and other working guidelines to carry out the activities of the FSHEA. All officers will be bonded. FSHEA will pay all costs for the bonds.
  2. Officers and Elections
    1. In order to qualify for Chair and Co-Chair, a prospective candidate must have been or be a member of the FSHEA National Council. These Officers shall be elected by the Council members.
    2. The term of office for all FSHEA Officers shall be two (2) years. No FSHEA office shall be held for more than two consecutive terms. Elections will be held every other June 15.
    3. Nomination and election procedures for Officer positions shall be by the Nomination/Election Committee Bylaws.

Section 2 – Duties of the Officers

  1. Chair.
    1. Shall be responsible for FSHEA meetings and shall be the official spokesperson for the FSHEA.
    2. With the concurrence of other FSHEA Officers, shall have the authority to sign and execute agreements, obligations, and financial documents on behalf of the FSHEA.
    3. Shall name and appoint FSHEA Committee leaders.
    4. Shall exercise supervision over all of the affairs of the FSHEA.
    5. If a FSHEA officer resigns their position, the Chair, with the concurrence of the FSHEA National Council, shall appoint a replacement until another person can be elected at the next scheduled meeting.
    6. The Chair is responsible for initiating an independent audit.
  2. Co-Chair.
    1. Shall coordinate all FSHEA Standing Committees and serve as Chair in the absence of the Chair.
    2. Shall perform any other duties as determined by the Chair.
    3. Shall assume the responsibilities of the Chair in the event of a resignation.
  3. Secretary.
    1. Shall be responsible for the recording of the proceedings at all National Council meetings.
    2. Shall maintain all FSHEA official documents and correspondence.
    3. Shall be responsible for the distribution of the minutes of all meetings.
  4. Treasurer.
    1. Shall be responsible for the collection, receipt and disbursement of funds as authorized by the FSHEA Chair.
    2. The Treasurer shall prepare a treasurer's report and financial statement utilizing generally accepted accounting principles for disclosure at all regularly scheduled FSHEA meetings or when directed by the FSHEA Chairperson.
    3. Shall co-sign all FSHEA financial documents in conjunction with the Chair.
  5. Representative.
    1. The Representative will be elected from the membership from within each zone by majority vote.
    2. Is responsible for keeping zone membership informed by serving as a communications link between membership and the National Council.
    3. Is coordinator for development of chapters within their zones.
    4. Monitors progress within their zone.

Section 3 – Removal of FSHEA Officers

  1. Any FSHEA Officer may be removed from office for "Just Cause" by two-thirds majority vote of the FSHEA National Council.
  2. "Just Cause" shall include but is not limited to dereliction of duty, any illegal act, or any act that will bring discredit upon the FSHEA.
  3. Any FSHEA Member can bring removal charges against an elected FSHEA officer. The FSHEA National Council shall vote on whether to hold a removal hearing. If two-thirds of the FSHEA National Council vote for a hearing, that hearing shall be held as, a special FSHEA meeting called by the National Council.


Zones shall be defined by regional/geographic areas. During the period when the FSHEA is being formed and prior to the establishment of local Chapters, a Zone will correspond to Forest Service Regions. Research Stations and Area Director shall be included in the Regions in which located. For the purpose of the Association, the Washington Office shall be considered as a Zone and Chapter.

Section 1 – One representative will be allowed per 100 members in a zone or chapter with a maximum of three (3) representatives per zone or chapter.

Section 2 – The following are the zone designations and units within each zone.

Zone 1
Northern Region (R-1)
Intermountain Station (INT)
Zone 2
Rocky Mountain Region (R-2)
Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station (RM)
Zone 3
Southwestern Region (R-3)
Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station (RM)
Zone 4
Intermountain Region (R-4)
Intermountain Station (INT)
Zone 5
Pacific Southwest Region (R-5)
Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (PSW)
Zone 6
Pacific Northwest Region (R-6)
Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (PNW)
Zone 7
Washington Office
Zone 8
Southern Region (R-8)
Southern Station (SO)
Southeastern Forest Experimental Station (SE)
Zone 9
Eastern Region (R-9)
Northeastern Area (NA)
Northeastern Forest Experimental Station (NE)
North Central Station
Forest Products Laboratory
Zone 10
Alaska Region (R-10)
Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (PNW)


Chapters may be defined within each zone. Chapters will follow the Association Charter and Bylaws. Chapters will develop standard operating procedures within the confines of the National Charter and Bylaws and approved by local line officials. Chapters are encouraged to further the education, support and strengthen the goals of the FSHEA. Chapters will elect officers.


Section 1 – The following Standing Committees are hereby designated and approved by the FSHEA National Council.

  1. Membership Committee – The membership Committee shall be responsible for updating the membership list, conducting membership drives, and enforcing membership policy.
  2. Information Committee – The Information Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that information about all non-confidential matters of the FSHEA are distributed to Members and Associate Members of the FSHEA in a timely manner.
  3. Directory Committee – The Directory Committee shall be responsible for coordinating the collection and compilation of all necessary information for the production of the annual FSHEA Yearbook.
  4. Partners for Success Committee – This Committee shall be responsible to promote the benefits of the FSHEA to Hispanics and non-Hispanics. The scope of activities include, but is not limited to such things as; the availability of Hispanic Skills existing in specific locations as indicated in the directory; publish a newsletter that explains the purpose and goals of the FSHEA; solicit membership; publicize and recognize recipients of Awards.
  5. Fund Raising Committee – The Fund Raising Committee shall be responsible for coordination of a variety of activities whose purpose is to raise money for FSHEA functional needs including yearbook and voluntary contributions. The Committee shall also be responsible for monitoring fund raising activities to ensure fiscal integrity. Prior approval from the Washington Office is needed before entering into outside partnerships.
  6. Policy Committee – The Policy Committee shall be responsible for reviewing existing and/or proposed Forest Service policies and practices to assess and determine the impacts on employment and cultural values of agency employees as well as local external Hispanic communities. Proposed changes to existing policy shall be prepared by this Committee with recommendations presented to the National Council.
  7. Monitoring/Accountability Committee – Consists of five members who shall review the Agency progress to diversity the work force, increase Hispanic representation, and manage a multicultural organization. The Committee shall prepare such written/oral recommendations as deemed necessary by the National Council or Chair for presentation to the Chief on March 15 annually.


FSHEA records and financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with (GAAP) and subject to annual audit. This report will be forwarded to the Deputy Chief, Administration, for review and approval. This audit is set on a calendar year basis and due March 31 each succeeding year.


The official FSHEA publications shall consist of the FSHEA Directory and a FSHEA Newsletter.


Section 1 – Dissolution

  1. An affirmative, two-thirds vote, of FSHEA members will be required to dissolve the association. The organization shall be dissolved within sixty (60) days of the affirmative vote. A special ballot for this purpose shall be prepared and mailed to members.
  2. A special meeting of the National Council shall convene to implement dissolution. Such meeting requires written membership notification at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.

Section 2 – Finances

The Chair and Treasurer shall assure that payment of all debts occur from FSHEA account balances and for the balancing of these accounts, with the approval of the National Council.

Section 3 – Disbursement of Funds

The FSHEA National Council shall determine the final disposition of funds at the special meeting established in Article XIII, Section 1.b.above.


Section 1 – Annual meetings of the National Council shall be held in February of each year as directed by the Chief or designated Agent. The date and place will be designated by the National Council.

Section 2 – Special meetings of the National Council and/or Officers shall be called as may be deemed appropriate by the Chair or National Council.

Section 3 – Officers are authorized to disburse funds to pay expenses not covered by the agency.


Time and Travel – The Agency agrees to reimburse expenses incurred and allow official time for travel of employees attending officially approved annual and special meetings called by the Chief and/or designated Agents.

Any other meetings deemed necessary by the Chair/or designees or National Council but not by the Chief will be paid by the Association. In these meetings, employees will attend at the Association's expense and travel on their own time.

Facilities and Services – The Association may use the following Agency services:

  1. Meeting rooms
  2. Designated bulletin boards
  3. Computer equipment may be used for internal messages
  4. Distribution of printed material such as circulars, flyers, posters, or newsletters through the internal mail and messenger service. This does not include use of penalty indicia or other Department or Agency paid mail systems. The following types of material may not be sent through the internal mail or messenger service or otherwise distributed within the Agency.
    1. Material which directly or indirectly attacks or adversely reflects on the integrity or character of Members of Congress, the Judiciary, the President, members of the President's Cabinet, or any other Government official in a similarly responsible action.
    2. Material containing expressions of a derogatory or abusive character concerning any employee of the Agency.
    3. Material, which directly or indirectly condemns or criticizes the policies of any Government Department or Agency.

Excused Absences – Excused absences are authorized for employees to attend meetings or functions officially approved by the Chief / designated Agent/ and/or local line manager. Such functions could include organization-sponsored awards, ceremonies, and Agency-wide and National Council functions. All excused absences must be approved by the employee's supervisor in advance.


Section 1 – Amendments

  1. The Charter and Bylaws may be altered, amended, modified, repealed, and new Bylaws may be adopted. National Council will be responsible for determining which amendments are to be ratified by the membership.
  2. A majority vote of fifty-one percent (51%) of the members in good standing is required to amend or replace the existing Bylaws.

January 13, 1993
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