Provincial Advisory Committees (PACs)

Provincial Advisory Committee Meeting

September 28, 2016 

Meeting Notice

Meeting Agenda

News Release


Background

Provincial Advisory Committees (PACs) were chartered as authorized advisory committees in support of the Northwest Forest Plan implementation in 1995.  PACs are chartered under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).  USDA Departmental Regulation #1043-37 (October 17, 2005), entitled  "Advisory Committees to the PIECs" provided the basic guidelines, instructions, membership, etc. for the PACs.  

Each PAC is established pursuant to the implementation of E-19 of the Record of Decision (ROD). PACs are in the public interest and are established in accordance with the provisions of the FACA, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App II.  The PACs are also authorized under an Interagency Agreement established between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Inferior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which enables each agency to provide local forums to seek ways to better coordinate activities with non-Federal entities.

Membership

PAC membership includes representatives of Federal, State, local and Tribal governments, a variety of other interests, and other local citizens that provide a forum for information exchange, provide advice on forest level analysis and monitoring, and encourage complementary ecosystem management among Federal and non-Federal land managers.

Provincial Advisory Committee Application Form

Form available in two formats [ DOC ]  [ PDF ]

What does the PAC Do? 

The Eastern Washington Cascades Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC) provides advice to federal land management officials on topics of strategic importance and makes recommendations to promote better integration of forest management activities between Federal and non-Federal entities.  The PAC also provides advice on national forest projects or programs, provides a forum for information exchange, and collaborative learning and dialogue on issues of concern.  The PAC also encourages complementary ecosystem management among Federal and non-Federal land managers.  

PACs seek to promote public understanding and identify areas of agreement or, where possible, consensus on approaches to managing forest ecosystems, wildlife and fish, and human uses of the forest.  PACs are solely advisory in nature.

Annually, the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF chooses topics and activities upon which to focus PAC member’s attention which serves as the basis for the structure and agenda of the business meetings and field trips.  At times, the PAC assigns subcommittees of the PAC or charters special working groups to develop consensus or act as sounding boards representing a variety of interests for specific projects within the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF.

Working groups may include individuals who are not members of a PAC and may be community-based groups that would provide advice and recommendations to a PAC on land management issues related to Adaptive Management Areas or other land-use classifications described in Attachment A of the Record of Decision. 

What is the PAC?

The Eastern Washington Cascades Provincial Advisory Committee is a federal advisory committee established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act as a result of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP). The purpose of the advisory committee is to help to facilitate communication between federal and non-federal entities to help implement the NWFP.  The PAC is chartered by the Secretary of Agriculture, who reviews and has renewed the charter every two years since the PACs were established. The PAC also serves as a Resource Advisory Committee to the Bureau of Land Management, and can charter working groups of non-PAC members to help accomplish its purposes.

Who is the PAC? 

The PAC is composed of volunteer members that represent a broad spectrum of interests specifically identified in the Secretary's charter.  Members of the PAC include local, state, federal, tribal, private industry, and special interest representatives.  Terms are for two years. 

How often does the PAC meet?

The PAC meets about four to five times per year, with the potential for one of those meetings to be a field trip.  

Interested?

The public is welcome to attend PAC meetings. All PAC meetings are open to the public and provide for an open public comment period.  PAC meeting notices are posted on our website, are advertised in the federal register, and with press releases to local newspapers.  If you are interested in becoming a member, please review the charter.

Periodically, vacancies for the specific interests identified in the charter become available. We usually advertise in local papers, but welcome an on-going list of folks that feel they can represent needed interests. If a vacancy becomes available, candidates must submit an application to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor. Final approval comes from the Forest Service Washington Office and may include a background check.

Provincial Advisory Committee Application Form

Form available in two formats [ DOC ]  [ PDF ]


HISTORY

In 1995 the President of the United States announced a new plan for the forests on federal land within the range of northern spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest (parts of Washington, Oregon and northern California). The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) had three parts: a program for managing the forests to achieve both sustainable timber production and protection of biological diversity; a system for coordinating federal agency implementation of the forest management effort and receiving advice from non-federal interests; and an initiative for providing economic assistance and job retraining to displaced timber workers, communities and others who were adversely affected by reductions in the size of the timber program. 

A major achievement is a fundamental change in how the federal agencies in the Northwest relate to each other and how they relate to the states, tribes and the general public. The NWFP established a common vision for the management of federal lands within the range of the northern spotted owl. It set up a formal structure for obtaining advice on a regular basis from states, tribes, counties, and others on critical implementation issues.

Currently, two of the original 12 Provincial Advisory Committees remain.  These PACs are the Eastern Washington Cascades PAC and the Deschutes PAC and consist of representatives of federal agencies, states, tribes, and others in the region.  They collaborate and coordinate across jurisdictional boundaries for the long-term health of forests, wildlife, fisheries, waterways, and consider issues including timber and recreation. 

When non-federal members participate in groups where decisions are made on the adoption of federal policies, programs, plans and projects, compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) is necessary.

The EWAC PAC does not have decision-making authority; they are an advisory body.  PACs allow federal and non-federal land managers and other affected constituencies to collaboratively address resource management issues.  Meetings are held four to five times a year, and all meetings are noticed in the Federal Register and open to the public.

The PACs operate in the public interest in that they provide local forums where Federal agencies, particularly those within the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Department of the Interior, can develop ways to better coordinate activities with non-Federal entities.  Ecosystem management at the province level requires improved coordination among governmental entities responsible for land management decisions and the public they serve.