Deadline approaches to submit proposals for Coconino RAC grants

Contact(s): Brady Smith, 928-527-3490


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Aug. 8, 2019 — Grant applications are now being accepted by the Coconino Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for projects that qualify for funding under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act.

The primary location for projects must be on federal lands within Coconino County, which includes the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, and small sections of the Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. However, projects can also be on non-federal lands within Coconino County where it is clearly demonstrated that the project benefits resources on the national forests.

The Act authorizes grants to federal agencies, state and local governments, private and non-profit entities, and tribal governments for projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure such as roads, trails, recreation facilities or projects that improve forest health and restore and improve land health and water quality.

Some examples of eligible projects include:

  • Road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration,
  • Soil productivity improvement,
  • Improvements to forest ecosystem health, including forest thinning,
  • Watershed and stream restoration and maintenance,
  • Restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife habitat,
  • Control of noxious weeds,
  • Re-establishment of native species.

Each project proposal will be evaluated on its cost-effectiveness, to what extent partners are involved, how the project improves the quality of human life including any employment opportunities, and how the project will improve watersheds and forest ecosystem health in general. The total amount to be dispersed by the committee includes approximately $475,000. The Act requires at least half of these funds to be “spent on projects which include sale of forest products and meet land management objectives.”

The Act allows funds to be used for the costs of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, or for on-the-ground project implementation. All project proposals for on-the-ground project work need to be NEPA sufficient at the time of the proposal.

Proposals are submitted online at www.tinyurl.com/RACproposal, and the proponent must choose “Coconino” for the Name of Resource Advisory Committee block to submit their project to the Coconino RAC. Unfortunately, the online submission form does not have any option to save and return at a later time to submit the application.

Therefore, it is recommended that proponents complete their proposal application in a word-processing program beforehand, so they can save and edit before copying and pasting into the actual online application for submission. Once proponents click “Submit Project” at the bottom of the project submission page, no edits will be allowed afterwards.

Deadline for submission of project proposals is Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 at 4 p.m. Proposals submitted after the stated deadline will not be accepted.

The public and proponents are welcome to attend the RAC meeting where proponents may get a chance to make a short presentation and answer questions about their proposal before the RAC determines which proposals should receive funding.

More information about the Secure Rural Schools Act Reauthorization can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/pts/, and general information about RACs can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs.

For questions regarding the Coconino RAC, please contact the RAC Coordinator, Brady Smith, at 928-527-3490 or by email at brady.smith@usda.gov.



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