Community Members Sought for Membership on Local, Forest Resource Advisory Committee (RAC)

Release Date: Mar 3, 2014  

HELENA, MONT., March 3, 2014—The Forest Service is seeking community members to fill multiple vacancies on its Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The Missouri River RAC encompasses Lewis & Clark, Broadwater and Teton counties, and its members meet one to two times per year to evaluate project proposals and recommend funding for a variety of projects that provide benefit to Forest Service lands.

“The Office of the Secretary of Agriculture reviews all candidate nominations, and then appoints the individuals who will serve as a citizen volunteer on the RAC within each specific category,” Kathy Bushnell, RAC Designated Federal Official, said. “The intent of the categories is to help ensure that multiple interests are represented.”

The RAC consists of 15 members, each representing a specific interest within one of the three categories. Currently, the Missouri River RAC is recruiting to fill 14 positions beginning in November 2014, along with three alternate positions—one in each category. Below are the categories/interests:

Category A

  • Organized labor or Non-timber forest product harvester groups
  • Developed outdoor recreation, OHV users, commercial recreation activities
  • Energy & mineral development interests or commercial/recreational fishing interests
  • Commercial timber industry
  • Hold Federal Grazing or other land-use permit(s), or represent non-industrial private forest landowners within the area for which the committee is organized

Category B

  • Nationally recognized environmental organizations
  • Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations
  • Dispersed recreation activities
  • Archaeological and historical interests
  • National or regionally recognized wild horse or burro groups, wildlife or hunting organizations or watershed organizations

Category C

  • State-elected office-holders or their designee
  • County or local elected office-holders
  • American Indian tribal representatives from tribes within or adjacent to the RAC area
  • School officials or teachers
  • Citizens representing the affected public-at-large

Individuals should have an interest in resource management and a strong desire to work collaboratively within a diverse group of interests. RAC positions are unpaid; however, eligible members can be reimbursed for travel costs. RAC members serve four year terms.

Community members interested in applying to serve on the Missouri River RAC need to complete and submit an application by April 1, 2014. Applications are available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/helena/workingtogether/advisorycommittees  or at a Forest Service office in Helena, Lincoln, Townsend, Choteau, Augusta, White Sulphur Springs, or Hungry Horse.

Applications need to be submitted by April 1, 2014 to RAC Designated Official Kathy Bushnell one of two ways:

  1. Email: kbushnell@fs.fed.us; or
  2. Regular mail: Helena National Forest, ATTN: Kathy Bushnell, 2880 Skyway Dr., Helena, MT 59602

For more information, call Kathy at 406-422-7164.

Basic information about RACs:

Funding and administration for Missouri River RAC projects are provided under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.The law directs that funds be spent on projects that accomplish one or more of the following objectives: maintain or remove roads and trails; improve soil and forest ecosystem health; restore watersheds; improve habitat for wildlife and fish; control weeds; and reestablish native ecosystems.

RAC-recommended projects are designed for on-the-ground projects that provide benefits to National Forest System lands. Along with the legal requirements on project eligibility, the Missouri River RAC favors projects that have community support and multiple benefits, low administrative costs, can leverage RAC funding with in-kind services and cash-matching, and can help create and/or retain jobs.