Candidates are needed for membership on the Southwest Montana and Tri County Resource Advisory Committees.
Resource Advisory Committees (RACs) were established to review and recommend projects to be carried out using Title II funding under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 and amended through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141). The purpose of each RAC is to improve collaborative relationships among the people that use and care for the National Forests and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Projects are funded that protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat; improve the maintenance of existing Forest Service infrastructure; protect and enhance ecosystems on the national forests; and restore and improve land health and water quality. Past projects include maintenance of Forest Service roads, trails and infrastructure; replacement of county bridges; control of noxious and exotic weeds; and reestablishment of native species.
In 2019, it’s expected the committee will make recommendations concerning projects in Beaverhead, Madison, Silver Bow, Granite, Powell, Jefferson, and Deer Lodge Counties. The committees are made of up to 15 representatives. Without simple majority of each of the three categories of members (a quorum), no recommendations can be made. As of the date of this news release, the Southwest Montana RAC received 10 applications and the Tri County RAC received 11 applications. More applicants still are needed in all three categories, with a higher need in the industry category.
“It is critical that we find qualified members to serve on the RAC. Without a full committee, funds that have been committed by the Counties to complete this important work cannot be utilized for potential projects. “I’m seeking candidates that will represent a wide array of interests to help each RAC reach full membership” said Forest Supervisor Cheri Ford.
Citizens are urged to consider applying to participate on one or both of the Resource Advisory Committees. This is a great way to learn more about management of public lands and to help in allocating Title II funds to worthy projects that will improve natural resources on our public lands.
The committee has vacancies for members to represent the following interests:
- Developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercialrecreation
- Energy and mineraldevelopment or commercial or recreational fishing interests
- Commercial timber industry
- Federal grazing permit holders or land use permit holders within the RACarea
- Nationally, regionally or locally recognized environmentalorganizations
- Archeological andHistorical interests
- Nationally or Regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest, wildlife or hunting organizations or watershedassociations
- State-elected, county-elected, or locally-electedoffice
- American Indiantribes
- School officials orteachers
- Public at large
Individuals may nominate themselves or others, but the nominees must live within the State of Montana. The application form and additional information can be obtained from Jeanne Dawson, email@example.com, (406) 683-3987, or online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/bdnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
Nominations and applications are due by March 7, 2019, and may be sent to Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF, Attn: RAC Coordinator Jeanne Dawson, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, MT 59725.
Committee members serve without compensation, but they are reimbursed for travel expenses. Meetings are typically held twice a year. Attendance may be in-person, by telephone, or other electronic means.
To help ensure that the recommendations of the committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by USDA, membership includes to the extent possible, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent women, men, racial and ethnic groups, and persons with disabilities.