Advisory Committees

Ravalli County RAC Soliciting for Nominees

The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Act authorizes the use of Resource Advisory Committee (RACs) to provide recommendations to the Forest Service on the development and implementation of special projects on federal lands. Each RAC consists of 15 people who serve four year terms representing varied interests and areas of expertise who work collaboratively to improve relationships among communities and national forest personnel.

The Ravalli County RAC represents Ravalli County and includes the Bitterroot National Forest. Members must reside within the State(s) in which the RAC is organized.  To the extent practical, the membership should reside in the vicinity of the National Forest for which the committee provides advice.

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 Ravalli County receives 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. The Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee was established in 2002.

We are now soliciting for nominees to fill several vacant positions. Positions marked with an asterisk (*) are currently or soon to be vacant and three per category are required to have a quorum.

Category A

  • *Developed Outdoor Recreation, Off-Highway Vehicle Users, or Commercial Recreation Activities (Vacant)
  • *Federal Grazing Permits or Other Land Use Permit Holders, or Representative of Non-Industrial Private Forest Land Owners (term expires 2019)
  • *Organized Labor or Non-Timber Forest Product Harvester Groups (filled)
  • *Energy and Mineral Development or Commercial or Recreational Fishing Groups (filled)
  • *Commercial Timber Industry (filled)

Category B

  • Nationally Recognized Environmental Organizations (Vacant)
  • *Archaeology and History (Vacant)
  • *Nationally or Regionally Recognized Wild Horse and Burro Interest, Wildlife or Hunting Organizations, or Watershed Associations (Vacant)
  • *Regionally or Locally Recognized Environmental Organizations (filled)
  • Dispersed Recreational Activities (filled)

Category C

  • *State-Elected Office (or designee)
  • *Affected Public-At-Large
  • *County or Local-Elected Office
  • *American Indian Tribes
  • *Area School Officials or Teachers

USDA requires two applicants per position. 

By July 13, 2018, each nominee must submit an AD-755 form to Eric Winthers, RAC Designated Federal Official (DFO), or Joni Lubke RAC coordinator (see below) or to a local Forest Service Office. The DFO will submit recommendations for appointments based on qualifications to represent the specific interest outlined in the Act, geographic representation across the area potentially affected by RAC advice, gender, ethnic diversity, persons with a disability, community support, consensus-building ability, dedication to serving the community's interests, and active participation in current natural resource issues.

The Secretary of Agriculture reviews and makes final RAC member selections. The process can take several months. More information on the process can be found at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs

For additional questions, please contact Eric Winthers, Designated Federal Official, Ravalli County RAC, Bitterroot National Forest, 1801 N. 1st, Hamilton, MT  59840, call: (406) 821-4244 or email at:  ewinthers@fs.fed.us, or Joni Lubke at (406) 363-7182 or jmlubke@fs.fed.us

RAC Project Applications

The Ravalli County RAC will be seeking new project applications after filling our vacant member slots.  A deadline will be posted when we are ready to meet.

Any questions, please call 406-363-7182.

More information regarding the Project submission and review process can be downloaded here: Title II Overview

 

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 Ravalli County receives 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. The Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee was established in 2002.  To date, not including 2010, the RAC has funded 72 projects, totaling $864,756.

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.

Who are the current Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee members?

Click here to see a current list of members.

How often does the Resource Advisory Committee meet?

The Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month except for the month of December.  Meetings are held at the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor’s office located at 1801 N. 1st, Hamilton, MT. 

How can I become involved?

 WORD Version    PDF Version

The Bitterroot 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 applying, please complete the AD-775, along with a resume, and return both to the Bitterroot National Forest, 1801 N. First, Hamilton, MT  59840   Attn: Joni Lubke.