Advisory Committees

Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) Information

There are two resource advisory committees (RACs) serving in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

The Tri County RAC covers Powell, Granite, and Deer Lodge counties and includes lands on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Lolo, Helena, and Flathead National Forests. The Tri County RAC is scheduled to meet virtually 1-5 p.m. June 1 and 4 via Microsoft Teams. Anyone can Join the Microsoft Teams Meeting via their computer or listen in by dialing  +1 636-352-2946 and entering conference identification number 219 636 644#.

The Southwest Montana RAC covers Madison, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Silverbow counties and includes lands on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Helena, and Gallatin National Forests. The Southwest Montana RAC met Feb. 14, 2020, at the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Supervisor's Office in Dillon.


Background Information

What is the purpose of a Resource Advisory Committee?

Resource Advisory Committees were established under the Reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. The RAC’s recommend how to allocate a portion of federal funds counties receive under the Act. The Act directs that funds be spent on projects such as road, trail and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration, improvements in soil and forest ecosystem health, restoration and improvements of wildlife and fish habitat, control of weeds, and reestablishment of native animals and plants. Projects must benefit resources on National Forest lands and meet federal environmental laws. In the past five years, the RACs have approved more than $3.5 million in funding for projects that benefit National Forest system lands.

What are the duties of the Resource Advisory Committee?

The RAC's duties include reviewing proposed forest management projects in accordance with the SRS Act and making recommendations to the Forest Service and providing opportunities for interested parties to participate in the project development process. RAC duties have been expanded to include monitoring of project progress and making recommendations for appropriate changes to projects being monitored.

Who makes up the Resource Advisory Committee?

Each resource advisory committee shall be comprised of 15 members made up of people from the general public, with equal representation from industry, environmental groups, elected officials, and other local interests. Members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and serve a four-year term.

What types of Projects does the RAC fund?

Projects which have been funded represent a number of categories.  These include water resources (stream restoration and riparian work, sediment reduction, culvert replacement, and irrigation systems); transportation (bridge removal and new construction, and road widening); timber/vegetation management (prescribed under burns, Stewardships, and restorations); education (development of brochures describing plants on trails and prescribed burning, Leave No Trace, class participation on weeds, Youth Get Nature Smart, Healthy Kids Healthy Forests, and Classrooms Without Walls); and trails (placement of new restrooms at trailheads, widening trails, and restoring campgrounds.  Trail work has been done on several different trails.

To apply for 2020 RAC funding, complete submit the following proposal form to RAC Coordinator Jeanne Dawson at

How can I become involved?

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is currently soliciting applications from individuals to fill positions on our Resource Advisory Committees (RAC). Interested individuals should have an interest in resource management and a strong desire to work collaboratively within a diverse group of interests. To be a RAC member, applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

Category A

  • Organized Labor or Non-Timber Forest Product Harvester Groups
  • Developed Outdoor Recreation, Off Highway Vehicle Users, or Commercial Recreation Activities
  • Energy & Mineral Development Interests or Commercial or Recreational Fishing Interests
  • Commercial Timber Industry
  • Hold Federal Grazing or Other Land Use Permits, or Represent Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners Within the Area for Which the Committee is Organized

Category B

  • Nationally recognized environmental organizations.
  • Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations.
  • Dispersed recreation activities.
  • Archaeological and historical interests.
  • Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse or burro groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed organizations.

Category C

  • State-elected office-holders or their designee.
  • County or local elected office-holders.
  • American Indian tribal representatives from tribes within or adjacent to the RAC area.
  • School officials or teachers.
  • Citizens representing the affected public at large.

If you are interested in serving on the Southwest Montana or Tri County RAC, please complete and submit an application and cover sheet to:

Jeanne Dawson
Attn: Southwest Montana or Tri County RAC
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
420 Barrett Street
Dillon, MT 59725
(406) 683-3987

Additional information about the RAC and Secure Rural Schools can be found at