The Flathead National Forest is recruiting applicants for the Flathead County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The purpose of each forest’s RAC is to improve collaborative relationships among the people who use and care for national forests, and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service about projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Federal Secure Rural Schools Act.
Over the last two years, the Flathead County RAC has approved over $440,000 in funds for Forest Service projects like trail maintenance, trailhead improvements, fishing access upgrades, education, dust abatement, and timber.
“This is a wonderful way to make an impact in your local community,” said Mark Schiltz, Resource Advisory Committee Chairman. “Serving as a thoughtful partner alongside Forest Service program managers to bring community perspective and priorities to the fore benefits all of our public lands.”
Title II funds are distributed by the Federal Government and can be used for projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, restore and improve land health, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality. Examples of projects implemented with RAC recommendation include trail maintenance, bridge construction, watershed and habitat restoration, weed control, and re-establishment of native species.
RACs are comprised of a 15-member committee with balanced and broad representation of the public who have varied interests and life experience. Each member serves a four-year term. Members participate in meetings an average of 2-4 times per year. Attendance is preferred in-person, but can be by telephone or other electronic means. Committee members must reside in Flathead County and be representative of the interests of the following three categories:
§ Organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups
§ Developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities
§ Energy and mineral development interests; or commercial or recreational fishing interests
§ Commercial timber industry
§ Federal grazing or other land use permittee or representative of nonindustrial private forest land owners, within the area for which the RAC is organized
§ Nationally recognized environmental organizations
§ Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations
§ Dispersed recreational activities
§ Archaeological and historical interests
§ Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations
§ State elected official or their designee
§ County or local elected official
§ American Indian tribes within or adjacent to committee area
§ School officials or teachers
§ Represent the affected public at large
For more information about the program and application instructions, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/states/secure-rural-schools/title-2, or contact Janette Turk, Flathead County RAC Coordinator at 406-758-5335.