Secure Rural Schools Program

 

Resource Advisory Committee Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resource Advisory Committee Recruitment Package

Instructions:  [PDF]

Committee Application:  [Word]

Category Interest:  [Word]

Resource Advisory Committee General Information:

RAC Overview:  [PDF]

Title II Overview:  [PDF]

Project Guidelines:  [PDF]

Resource Advisory Committee Tools:

Example Projects:  [PDF]

How to Complete Project:  [PowerPoint] [PDF]

Project Application:  [Word] [PDF]

 

 

Forest Service Approves Secure Rural Schools Act Projects

September 5, 2014

Roanoke, Va. – The USDA Forest approved five projects recommended for funding by the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).  The RAC operates under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS), and recommended over $64,000 in projects benefiting the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for Fiscal Year 2014.  Title II projects improve or create infrastructure, enhance forest ecosystems, or restore and improve land health and water quality. 

Under Title II of the Act, a 15-person Resource Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture recommends projects for funding.  In an effort to represent varied interests, RAC members represent commodity or commercial interests, environmental and conservation groups, individual citizens, elected officials, school faculty members, and American Indian tribes.  All RAC members are residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Since 2008, the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee has recommended over $600,000 in projects benefiting local communities and counties throughout western Virginia.  Examples of this year’s projects include:  improvements to the Lions Tail National Recreation Trail in Page County, facility repairs to the Warwick Mansion in Bath County, and road maintenance and improvements in Allegheny and Smyth Counties.  

-USDA-

2014 Virginia Resource Advisory Committee Approved Projects

Project # Project Name County Requested Recommended
01 Road Maintenance Bath/Alleghany $40,000 $20,000
02 Lions Trail Repair Page $7,498 $7,498
04 Warwick Mansion Barn Reroof Bath $18,000 $18,000
05 Warwick Mansion Repairs Bath $3,700 $2,392
06 Recreation Corridor Enhancement Smyth $16,700 $16329
 

 

County Allocations
County Projected Recommended
Bath/Alleghany  $ 40,392.29  $ 40,392.00
Page  $ 7,498.00  $ 7,498.00
Smyth  $ 16,329.06  $ 16,329.00
Total  $ 64,220.11  $ 64,219.00

 


 

Forest Service Seeks Projects Benefitting Public Lands
April 28, 2014

Roanoke, Va. – The Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) is currently accepting applications for projects benefiting federal lands and local communities under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Community Self-Determination Act.  Each project must enhance forest ecosystems, restore and improve land health and water quality, or improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure. 

Projects must reside in Virginia on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, or on nearby lands where the project benefits National Forest System lands.  Fifty percent of the funds must be used for stream and watershed restoration or for road maintenance, decommissioning, or obliteration.  Counties electing to receive Title II funding are Alleghany ($20,826), Bath ($19,566), Page ($7,498), and Smyth ($16,329).  Anyone can submit projects; however, applicants should consult the local Forest Service District Ranger on project proposals.  Projects can be implemented by the Forest Service, other federal agencies, state and local agencies, organizations, businesses, or individuals. 

Projects are reviewed by Virginia RAC Members, who work together to identify proposals that best meet the language outlined in the SRS Act.  These projects are then recommended to the Forest Service and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.  Each RAC Member is appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and serves a four-year term.  The Virginia RAC consists of 15 members representing diverse interests and backgrounds.

Project applications are available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj, or by calling 540-265-5173.  Complete project applications and location maps must be submitted electronically or postmarked by May 31, 2014.  Applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals electronically to Michael Williams at mrwilliams04@fs.fed.us.  Proposals may also be mailed to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Supervisor’s Office located at 5162 Valleypointe Parkway, Roanoke, Virginia 24019.

The RAC will begin reviewing projects during future meetings to be announced.  The public is welcome to attend RAC meetings.  Additional information concerning Title II projects is available at www.fs.fed.us/srs.  For more information on the Committee or to learn more about proposing projects, please contact Michael Williams at 540-265-5173.

-USDA-


Forest Service Seeks Applicants for Resource Advisory Committee
June 19, 2013

Roanoke, Va. - The USDA Forest Service is seeking individuals to serve on a Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  RAC members will review and recommend projects that benefit national forest resources as part of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. 

The Act states that counties may elect to receive payments tied to the amount of National Forest System lands (and other factors) residing in their county borders.  Counties may designate a portion of the funds to projects benefiting National Forest System lands.  Title II of the Act requires that a RAC is created to review and recommend projects for implementation.  The current RAC has recommended over $530,000 and 27 projects to the Forest Service, including the creation of an access park for the Cowpasture River, replacing culverts and repairing forest roads, and improving fish habitat at Douthat State Park.

The RAC is comprised of 15 members and three alternates who reside in Virginia and represent a wide array of interests.  The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appoints RAC members to a four-year term, and strives for diverse membership.  Special attention is given to those who demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with others of different viewpoints, display a dedication to serving the community’s interests, and have active participation in current natural resource issues.

RAC members coordinate closely with the Forest Service and county officials to review and recommend proposed land management projects in participating counties, monitor the projects, and provide advice to the Forest Service.  Committee members will review projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land, health, and water quality. 

All projects recommended by the RAC must be approved by the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Supervisor and are forwarded to the Secretary of Agriculture for final approval.  Meetings are typically held two or three times per year at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Roanoke, Virginia. 

To be eligible, members must fall under one or more of the following three categories:

CATEGORY A – Five regular members and one replacement who represent one or more of the following interests:
• Organized Labor or Non-Timber Forest Product Harvester Groups
• Developed Outdoor Recreation, Off-Highway Vehicle Users, or Commercial Recreation Activities
• Energy and Mineral Development, or Commercial or Recreational Fishing Groups
• Commercial Timber Industry
• Federal Grazing Permit or Other Land Use Permit Holders, or Representative of Non-Industrial Private Forest Land Owners, Within the Area for which the Committee is Organized

CATEGORY B – Five regular members and one replacement who represent one or more of the following interests:
• Nationally Recognized Environmental Organizations
• Regionally or Locally Recognized Environmental Organizations
• Dispersed Recreational Activities
• Archaeology and History
• Nationally or Regionally Recognized Wild Horse and Burro Interest, Wildlife or Hunting Organizations, or Watershed Associations

CATEGORY C – Five regular members and one replacement who represent one or more of the following interests:
• Hold State-Elected Office
• Hold County or Local-Elected Office
• American Indian Tribes Within or Adjacent to the Area for which the Committee is Organized
• Area School Officials or Teachers
• Affected Public-At-Large

Questions regarding serving on the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee should be directed to Michael Williams at mrwilliams04@fs.fed.us or 540 265 5173.  Applications for RAC membership, as well as a complete list of past year’s projects are available online at www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj/

-USDA-


 Forest Service Approves 10 Secure Rural Schools Act Projects
October 03, 2012

Roanoke, Va. – The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, approved 10 projects recommended by the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).  The RAC allocated nearly $100,000 towards projects important to local communities and stakeholders of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  The RAC operates under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS), which was renewed in July for one additional year.  Title II of this act specifies that each RAC recommend funding for projects benefiting national forests.  Title II projects improve or create infrastructure, enhance forest ecosystems, or restore and improve land health and water quality.

This year’s approved projects include improving roads and replacing culverts on national forest roads, renovating the Wallace House and Warwick Mansion in Bath County, and improving the Cowpature River Access Park.  In addition to Title II projects, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act provides counties funding for schools and roads, assists communities prepare and respond to wildfire, and is intended to improve cooperative relationships at the local level.  A complete list of approved projects, including project descriptions, locations, and funding can be found by visiting the national forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gwj) and selecting “RAC Projects”.

Under Title II of the act, a 15 person Resource Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture recommends projects for funding.  In an effort to represent varied interests, RAC members represent commodity or commercial interests, environmental and conservation groups, individual citizens, elected officials, school faculty members, and American Indian tribes.  All RAC members are residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

2012 Approved Projects

Virginia Resource Advisory Committee Approved Projects
Project # Project Name County Requested Recommended
1 Habitat Improvement and Noxious Weed Reduction Amherst $16,000 $ 11,152
5 Petites Gap Road Proposal Rockbridge $ 9,000 $ 9,000
6 Cowpasture River Access Park Alleghany $36,300 $ 12,500
7 Wallace House Rehabilitation Bath $ 10,000 $ 3,467
8 Warwick Mansion Bath $ 7,500 $ 7,500
9 Culvert Replacements JRRD Bath/Alleghany $45,000 $ 25,000
10 Walker Mountain Road Wythe $12,000 $10,000
11 Equipment Wythe County Sheriff Wythe $ 5,000 $ 2,192
13 Enhancing Habitat - Appalachian Trail Smyth $ 21,700 $ 5,000
14 Settlers Museum Smyth $ 70,000 $ 11,000
     Total: $232,500 $ 96,811
Alternate        
3 Law Enforcement Security Camera All    

 

County Allocations
County Projected Recommended
Bath/Alleghany  $ 45,167.00  $ 48,467.00
Amherst  $ 11,152.00  $ 11,152.00
Rockbridge  $ 11,727.00  $ 9,000.00
Smyth  $ 16,573.00  $ 16,000.00
Wythe  $ 12,192.00  $ 12,192.00
Total  $ 96,811.00  $ 96,811.00

 

Background:   The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 was reauthorized for federal fiscal year (FY) 2012. This one-year reauthorization means that the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are now accepting applications to receive funding, under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act, for projects improving the maintenance of existing infrastructure, enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land health and water quality.Projects must take place on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, or on nearby lands where the project benefits resources on national forest system lands.  Anyone can apply; however, applicants must meet specific criteria, and must consult local district rangers for the proposed project area.

A Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) met to review applications and recommend projects to receive funding.  The committee’s purpose is to help provide employment opportunities in local communities and enhance public collaboration with federal land managers by reviewing and recommending projects to the Forest Supervisor.  Members of the RAC were appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and serve a four-year term. 


**From September 2011** Forest Service Approves 17 Recommended Projects

The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, approved 17 projects recommended by the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC allocated more than $430,000 towards projects important to local communities and stakeholders of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Approved projects include improving roads and replacing culverts on national forest roads, renovating the Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia in Smyth County, and purchasing bear-proof dumpsters.  The following is a list of approved projects:

 

Virginia Resource Advisory Committee Approved Projects
Project # Project Name County Requested Recommended
01 Douthat Fish Habitat Improvements Bath/Alleghany  $ 2,910  $ 2,910
04 Wildlife Diversity project along AT Smyth  $ 21,720  $ 4,400
05 Walker Mtn Rd Improvements Wythe  $ 42,000  $ 11,500
06 Settlers Museum Project Smyth  $ 70,000  $ 26,949
07 Wallace House Rehabilitation Bath/Alleghany  $ 20,000  $ 20,000
08 Equipment Purchase Amherst  $ 56,000  $ 56,000
18 Bearproof Greenbox Bath/Alleghany  $ 36,000  $ 36,000
20 Culvert Replacement Wythe  $ 28,000  $ 28,000
21 USFS Trail and Interpretive Sign Program Bath/Alleghany  $ 56,455  $ 35,000
22 Jackson River Stocking Road Bath/Alleghany  $ 4,500  $ 4,500
24 Cowpasture River Access Park Bath/Alleghany  $ 132,274  $ 100,000
26 Flush Toilet Building Replacement Rockbridge  $ 53,000  $ 50,000
28 Equipment. Wythe County Sheriff's Dept Wythe  $ 5,000  $ 2,500
29 Equipment. Smyth County Sheriff's Dept Smyth  $ 5,000  $ 2,500
30 FSR 644 Slide Repair Smyth  $ 15,000  $ 15,000
31 Jackson River Public Access Bath/Alleghany  $ 26,900  $ 26,900
33 Wildlife Opening Program Bath/Alleghany  $ 17,628  $ 9,400
    Total:  $ 592,387  $ 431,559
Alternate(s)    
14 Culvert Replacements - James River Bath/Alleghany    
36 Wildlife Opening Program All    

 

County Allocations
County Projected Recommended
Bath/Alleghany  $ 234,717  $ 234,710
Amherst  $ 56,066  $ 56,000
Rockbridge  $ 50,371  $ 50,000
Smyth  $ 48,849  $ 48,849
Wythe  $ 42,428  $ 42,000
Total  $ 432,431   $ 431,559 

 

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. 

 

-USFS-


For Additional Information, Contact:  Michael R. Williams at (540) 265 - 5173.