Advisory Committees

What is a Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committee?

A Secure Rural Schools Resource Act Advisory Committee (RAC) provides recommendations to the Forest Service on the development and implementation of special projects on federal lands as authorized under the Secure Rural Schools Act and Community Self-Determination Act in Public Law 110-343.   Each RAC consists of 15 people representing varied interests and areas of expertise, who work collaboratively to improve working relationships among community members and national forest personnel.

Under title II of the Act the Secretary of Agriculture may establish a Secure Rural Schools resource advisory committee for part of a national forest or for one or more national forests to ensure that each national forest on which special projects are proposed has access to a RAC.

Secure Rural Schools RACs were first established under the “Secure Rural School and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-393). Authorization for those committees expired September 30, 2006.  In 2007 the Act was extended for one year in Public Law 110-28.

In October 2008 the Act was amended and reauthorized for four years, federal fiscal years 2008-2011 and again in 2012 and 2013 under P.L.110-343.  It authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to reactivate the Secure Rural Schools Act resource advisory committees that were in place prior to September 29, 2006 and to establish new RACs as appropriate.

Where does the funding come from?

Each county in an eligible state must elect to receive one of the following payments:

  • a share of the state’s 25-percent payment, OR
  • a share of the “State payment”.

25-percent - Since 2008 the 25-percent payment has been based  on a 7-year rolling average national forest receipts, distributed among the counties in which the national forest is situated in proportion to acreage of national forest in the affected counties.  25-percent payments must be used for public schools and roads in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 500. Under 16 U.S.C. 500, the State has broad discretion as to how to allocate the payment for public schools and roads, including authorizing the county to make the allocation.

  • Rolling Average Spreadsheet (pdf)

State payment - The county share of the Secure Rural Schools Act State payment must be allocated according to the guidelines below to be used for public schools and roads (commonly called title I funds), title II special projects on national forests, and title III county funds to be used for Firewise communities activities, to reimburse counties for emergency services on the national forests and for development of community wildfire protection plans.  More information on authorized uses of title II funds for Special Projects and title III, County Funds is posted elsewhere on this web site.

  • State Payment History for El Dorado County (pdf)

Title II: Special projects on federal lands

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.

The purposes of the 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; and
  • 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; and
  • 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.

Spotlights

El Dorado County Resource Advisory Committee

Announcements, Meetings, Members, and Project Information

Amador County Resource Advisory Committee

Amador County has chosen to not have a RAC at this time. This link will provide information for previous funding cycles in which the RAC was active.




https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/eldorado/workingtogether/advisorycommittees