Secure Rural Schools Act
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 4, 2014 that more than $300 million would be paid to 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in support of local schools and roads as part of the Act's reauthorization. This disbursement included $30 million in Title II funding to complete special conservation projects on Federal lands proposed by Resource Advisory Committees throughout the Forest Service.
The Nicolet portion of the CNNF received $71,168 and Chequamegon side received $136,815 in Title II funds.
Committee Members Needed
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is seeking members of the community to serve on the Forest's Resource Advisory Committees.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet has two advisory committees one serving the east land base, the Nicolet, and the other serving the west land base, the Chequamegon.
The purpose of Resource Advisory Committees is to improve collaborative relationships among the people that use and care for the National Forests and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act.
These projects must have broad community-based support with objectives that improve Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest lands and resources. Projects must be on public land, but can occur on private land if it can be demonstrated that there is a benefit to public land resources.
Title II funds are used to fund projects that have broad community-based support with objectives that may include, but are not limited to: road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvements; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed restoration and maintenance; restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat; control of noxious and exotic weeds; hazardous fuels reduction; and reintroduction of native species. Projects must be on public land, but can occur on private land if it can be demonstrated that there is a benefit to public land resources.
Examples of past projects include replacing bridges on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, improving visitor use trails at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, connecting ATV riders from the Boulder Lake area, building the Rat River Recreation Trail, improving Chequamegon Area Mountain Biking Association trails, road reconstruction, campground improvements, road maintenance projects. You can find a listing of all RAC funded projects on our website Chequamegon - http://go.usa.gov/suQF
, Nicolet - http://go.usa.gov/Hkk4
Each RAC is comprised of 15 members all of which are approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and represent diverse interest groups. Members must be a Wisconsin resident and willing to serve a four-year term.
Community members interested in applying are asked to submit their completed application to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Completed applications shall include the interest group they would like to represent and why they are qualified to do so, why they want to serve on a RAC and what they have to contribute, show their past experience in working successfully as part of a working group on forest management activities and complete form AD-755 (Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information). Any Wisconsin resident interested in serving on the committee must complete an application form that will be used for a required background check. Applications can be found here:
Completed applications for the side of the forest you wish to serve on and the background information form can be mailed to:
CNNF RAC Coordinator
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
500 Hanson Lake Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501
For more information please contact:
coordinator, Sara Holmes, 715-373-2667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
coordinator, Penny McLaughlin, 715-362-1381 or email@example.com.
Since 1908, the Forest Service has shared with states 25 percent of gross receipts from timber sales, grazing, minerals, recreation, and other land use fees on national forests to benefit public schools and public roads in the counties in which the forests are situated.
In the late 1980s, due largely to declines in timber sale receipts, payments began to fluctuate and drop significantly. In 1994, Congress provided "safety net payments" to counties in northern California, western Oregon and western Washington.
In 2000, Congress passed the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act that provided enhanced, stabilized payments to more states through 2006. The act was extended for one year and then reauthorized in 2008 for four more years with a one-year reauthorization in 2012. The program was reauthorized in 2013 to provide benefits for an additional year.