Opal Creek Advisory Council ~ Member Roles & Expectations


Because the Opal Creek Advisory Council completed its initial charge of providing advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the preparation of a comprehensive management plan for the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area, the Council will continue work with the Detroit District Ranger to:

Provide advice and recommendations on a periodic and regular basis with respect to matters relating to management of the Scenic Recreation Area including the implementation of the SRA Management Plan.

Advisory Council Role

The Advisory Council makes recommendations to the Detroit District Ranger of the Willamette National Forest, who is responsible for final decisions. The Advisory Council is composed of a diverse group of citizens, which allows for sharing of technical knowledge and personal experience. Council members represent state, county and city governments, and various organizations, which include mining industry, environmental organizations, in-holders in the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area, economic development, Indian tribes, adjacent landowners and recreation interests.

To be useful by the Forest Service, recommendations by the Advisory Council should fall within the sideboards established by the Opal Creek Legislation, the Federal Advisory Council Act, the Willamette National Forest Plan, the Northwest Forest Plan, the National Forest Management Act, and any other pertinent guiding legislation or direction.

Although the Advisory Council will make recommendations to the District Ranger, the public at-large will be given opportunities to participate as well. All Advisory Council meetings will be open to the public; however non-council members will not be able to participate directly in council exercises.

Advisory Council members will be responsible for being accessible to others, and for bringing forward ideas they receive. The public at-large will be given an opportunity to comment on the Council’s recommendations to the District Ranger.

Following the District Ranger’s decisions, the Advisory Council will be encouraged to monitor the implementation process and actions taken, and evaluate the agency’s effectiveness.

Member Responsibilities

  1. Represent interests of appropriate groups by
    • generating information necessary for the planning process from interest groups, and
    • keeping your constituency informed of progress.
  2. Understand and agree to meeting commitments.
  3. Keep alternates informed of advisory council decisions, process and timelines. In addition, members are responsible for seeing that alternates attend meetings they will miss.
  4. Be willing to work in a team setting and be open to discussing and understanding a wide range of viewpoints
  5. Give everyone a chance to speak and withhold judgment on an idea presented by others until it has a chance to be developed
  6. As a starting point for discussions, focus on issues, needs and opportunities, not on personalities, people, or firm positions.
  7. Attempt to reach consensus at decision points to develop a feasible set of ideas and actions.
  8. Speak concisely and listen without interrupting.
  9. If problems or concerns arise about how the Council is operating, members will make these known to the Council or facilitators first and attempt to resolve them with the Council structure. This will help to avoid undermining the process

The Advisory Council helps the Forest Service to be more effective by

  • Bringing to the table the interests of the stakeholders
  • Carrying information back to the stakeholders
  • Alerting the Forest Service to emerging issues
  • Sharing technical and professional knowledge with the Forest Service and other council members
  • Attending meetings (the Charter requires 7 members for a quorum)
  • Being a hands on, problem solving group

Duties of the Designated Federal Official

A Designated Federal Official must be present during each advisory meeting. An offiecer or employee of the Federal Government must be designated to chair or attend each meeting of each advisory committee. The designated officer or employee is authorized, whenever he/she determines it to be in the public interest, to adjourn any such meeting. No advisory committee will conduct any meeting in the absence of that officer or employee.
Responsible for:

  • Orienting new committee members
  • Approving or calling the meetings
  • Approving the agendas
  • Ensuring public participation in open advisory committee meetings
  • Attending the meetings
  • Adjourning the meeting when such as adjournment is in the public interest.
  • Chairing the meeting when so directed by the agency head.
  • Maintaining the records, reports, transcripts, minutes, appendices, working papers, drafts, studies, agendas, or other documents which are made available for public inspection and copying at a single location in the agency until the advisory committee ceases to exist.
  • Maintaining detailed minutes
  • Maintaining records of costs
  • File Annual Report to Congress
  • Tracking committee recommendations and obtaining agency responses.

Duties of the Chairperson

Advisory committees are often chaired by a member of the committee. The selection or election of a chairperson is a local option. In some cases, committee members elect the Chairperson; in other cases, the Chairperson is selected by an agency official.

  • Presides over committee meetings and must be familiar with the openness provision of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  • Ensures group activities are consistent with the charter.
  • Serves as the spokesperson for the group.
  • Appoints group members to subcommittees.
  • Certifies the accuracy of all minutes.
  • Facilitates in the formation of agendas.


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