Hood-Willamette Resource Advisory Committee

Mt. Hood-Willamette Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) members work collaboratively with Mt. Hood National Forest, Willamette National Forest, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and partners to improve conditions via projects that provide local jobs, restore landscapes, enhance recreation, combat invasive species and engage youth.

The Resource Advisory Committee is chartered under the Secure Rural Schools & Community Self Determination Act. The RAC consists of 15 members who represent a variety of interest groups who work together to review and recommend approval of forest improvement projects to the Forest Supervisors of the two forests. Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act Title II funds are appropriated by the U.S. Congress and sent to Counties in lieu of the former 25% of payments from timber harvest to Counties (basically to make up for the loss of property tax in counties that have a lot of federal land). Counties can elect to put some or all of their payments into the Title II fund.

A call is sent out to Federal agencies such as the BLM and USFS as well as individuals and organizations requesting proposals for spending money in the Title II fund. The Act defines a wide variety of activities that can be accomplished with Title II funds, most of which are restoration or maintenance of infrastructure. Most projects are on federal land, but they don’t have to be. If they are on private land they need to benefit Federal lands or resources. Resource Advisory Committees provide recommendations on how these funds will be spent in each County that elects to fund projects. For more information about Secure Rural Schools legislation and payments, visit  http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/home

Hood-Willamette RAC is now Accepting Title II Project Proposals:

The Hood-Willamette Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) is currently accepting proposals for Secure Rural Schools Title II projects. 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.

To submit a project proposal, please read the instructions for Title II Proposal form, and use the proposal forms located here: Title II Proposal Form. There are approximately $1.9M in Fiscal Year 2019 & 2020 Title II funds currently available for award through this solicitation. Project proposals are due by 5:00pm on May 14, 2021. Proposals should be emailed to christine.meyers@usda.gov. More information on the Act and appropriate Title II projects is explained in detail above.

The purposes of the Secure Rural Schools 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
  • 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
  • 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. Projects should be NEPA ready and vetted for Forest unit level Staff Officers.

Please note, 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.

Past Approved Projects:

Two youth walking along a wooden trail bridge under construction

Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

Hood-Willamette Resource Advisory Committee is planning to convene on June 7th and 9th, 2021 to review and discuss Title II proposals, and again on July 7, 2021 to vote on funding recommendations. These meetings will be held virtually via Zoom and are always free and open to the public. Please check back here in the coming weeks for specific location information and meeting agendas. You may contact Christine Meyers, Acting Hood-Willamette RAC Coordinator, by email at christine.meyers@usda.gov with any questions.

Meeting Notes

More Information

Committee Composition
Member Commitment
RAC Vacancies
How to Apply
More Information

Committee Composition

The Mt. Hood Willamette Resource Advisory Council (RAC) provides advice and recommendations to both the Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon. The jurisdiction of the Hood-Willamette RAC includes USFS managed lands in eight counties: Wasco, Hood River, Clackamas, Multnomah, Marion, Linn, Lane and Douglas. Committee members must be a resident of one of the abovementioned counties.

Members of the RAC must be appointed to represent one of the following three interest groups:

  • Category One: Five members who represent energy and mineral development; the commercial timber industry; organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups; developed outdoor recreation; off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation; or Federal grazing or other land permits or represent nonindustrial private forest land owners.
  • Category Two: Five members who represent nationally recognized environmental organizations; regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations; dispersed recreational activities; archaeological and historical interests; or nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations.
  • Category Three: Five members who hold state elected office; hold county or local elected office; represent Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the Council is organized; are school officials or teachers with knowledge in natural resource management or the natural sciences; or represent the affected public-at-large and/or are employed by a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources, land or water.

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Member Commitment

RACs are citizen groups that meet about twice a year to consider proposals for Title II spending. Projects generally fall into two categories: roads related projects and restoration projects. RACs may also, if they choose to do so, help Forests set rates and fees for use of selected recreation facilities and sites.

The Secretary of Agriculture appoints a total of 15 citizens to four-year terms on the Council. 

Membership on a RAC is a volunteer position but mileage for travel can be reimbursed. Meetings are generally held on a weekday afternoon in Salem, Oregon as it is a central location. There has been discussion about rotating the meeting place and time, but this would need to be decided by the RAC during a meeting.

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RAC Vacancies

The Mt. Hood-Willamette RAC accepts applications on a rolling basis. If we receive your application outside an official recruitment window, we will keep it on file for use in the next round.

Applicants must be able to represent one of the three interest groups listed in “Committee Composition” above. Probability of selection is increased if the candidate fits multiple categories so applicants should not limit their application to one category. Additionally, applicants must be a resident of one of the eight counties represented by the committee: Wasco, Hood River, Clackamas, Multnomah, Marion, Linn, Lane and Douglas.

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How to Apply for the Hood-Willamette RAC:

Download and fill out an application form (Form AD-755). Submit via email to jennifer.sorensen@usda.gov. You can also mail or drop off your application to the following address:


Willamette National Forest
Attn: Jennifer Sorensen
3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite D
Springfield, OR 97477

Forms are also available from Jennifer Sorensen. Contact jennifer.sorensen@usda.gov or 541-225-6388 with your name and address and she will send you an application packet.

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More Information

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Sorensen (jennifer.sorensen@usda.gov or 541-225-6388).

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