Updated: September 22, 2015
Title II-Special Projects on Federal Land
The Secure Rural Schools Act (Act) was reauthorized by section 524 of P.L. 114-10 and signed into law by the President on April 16, 2015.
For this two-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act title II remains intact in significant part. The reauthorization extends the date by which title II projects must be initiated and the date by which title II funds must be obligated:
The authority to initiate title II projects terminates on September 30, 2017. Any title II project funds not obligated by September 30, 2018 shall be returned to the U.S. Treasury.
As allowed in the reauthorization, the Secretary of Agriculture deemed the existing resource advisory committees (RACs) to be committees for the purposes of title II in the reauthorized Act and approved the current charter and the members in good standing for the purposes of the reauthorized Act.
Secure Rural Schools RACs are formed and operate in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and USDA committee management regulations.
Special projects on federal lands
Title II funds may be used for the for protection, restoration, and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat, and other resource objectives consistent with the Act on Federal land and on non-Federal land where projects would benefit the resources on Federal land.
For purposes of this Act, Federal land means land within the National Forest System and portions of the revested Oregon and California (O&C) Railroad and reconveyed Coos Bay Wagon Road grant land administered by the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Other Federal lands such as those managed by the National Park Service or the Bureau of Reclamation are not considered Federal lands for the purposes of the Act.
The purposes of the Act include making additional investments in, and creating employment opportunities through title II funded projects that:
- improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure;
- implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems; and
- restore and improve land health and water quality;
The funds may be used for projects that enjoy broad based support and have objectives that may include--
- road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration;
- soil productivity improvement;
- improvements in forest ecosystem health;
- watershed restoration and maintenance;
- the restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat;
- the control of noxious and exotic weeds; and
- the re-establishment of native species.
Planning and implementing the projects should help improve cooperative relationships among the people that use and care for Federal land and the agencies that manage the Federal land.