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Forest advisory group seeks members

The Sanders and Mineral Resource Advisory Committees (RAC) are seeking new members. Volunteer RAC committee members serve an important role in recommending how funds received by counties under the Secure Rural Schools Act will be spent on projects that are on or will benefit nearby National Forest lands.

“This is a great opportunity for locals to have a direct impact in their community by helping to fund projects that benefit National Forest lands and the broader public,” said Abby Lane, Superior District Ranger. “We have several vacant positions on both committees that we are eager to fill.”

By law, Resource Advisory Committees must be comprised of 15 members with balanced and broad representation of the public. Committee members must reside in Montana and be representative of the interests from three diverse categories: Organized Labor; Environmental Groups, Recreation and History Interests; and Elected Officials, School Officials, Tribes, or other members of the Public-At-Large.

RACs have volunteer citizens nominated and federally appointed to review and recommend projects proposed for Title II funds. The Committee members represent a cross-section of interests and expertise including outdoor recreation, wildlife, hunting, environmental organizations, forest industry, schools, and local government. Upon selection, committee members serve four-year terms. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which was reauthorized by Congress through 2022, was enacted to provide transitional assistance to rural counties. Counties receive federal funds based on calculations including the percentage of land in federal ownership, funds generated through multi-use activities such as timber harvest, grazing and special use permits, and per capita income.

RAC member duties and commitments include:

Review and make recommendations on proposed conservation projects and recreation fee proposals.

Each member serves a four-year term.

Participate in meetings an average of one-three times per year. Attendance may be in-person, by telephone, or other electronic means.

There is no compensation for RAC service, but committee members may be reimbursed for certain travel expenses.

SRS funds may 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. RACs also review and make recommendations on recreation fee proposals submitted by the local National Forests.

How to Apply: Application packets can be obtained at:

Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District

P.O. Box 429

408 Clayton

Plains, MT 59859

406-826-3821

406-822-4233

If you are interested in serving on the Sanders RAC, please contact:

David Wrobleski, Plains-Thompson Falls District Ranger, 406-826-4321 or [email protected].

Heather Berman, Sanders RAC Coordinator, 406-210-5287 or [email protected].

Additional information on Resource Advisory Committees can be found on the Forest Service website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs.

 

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