Advisory Committees


Resource Advisory Committees (RACs) are organized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000, and most recently reauthorized through the 2014 Farm Bill.  RACs recommend projects that benefit National Forest System lands in particular counties, using federal funds allocated to the counties under this law. Each RAC has 15 volunteer members, and three alternate members, who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and serve a four-year term.

The members must be eligible to represent one of the following 15 categories, and live in the county for which the RAC serves.

Category A Category B Category C

Organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups

Nationally recognized environmental organizations

Hold State elected office or their designee

Developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities;

Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations 

Hold county or local elected office

Energy and mineral development interests; or commercial or recreational fishing interests 

Dispersed recreational activities 

American Indian tribes within or adjacent to committee area

Commercial timber industry

Archaeological and historical interests

School officials or teachers

Hold Federal grazing or other land use permits, or represent nonindustrial private forest land owners, within the area for which the committee is organized

Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations

Represent the affected public at large.


The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest administers two RACs—Missouri River RAC and Central Montana RAC—and is partially included in other RACs based on the county alignment. 

Missouri River RAC

The Missouri River RAC serves Lewis & Clark, Broadwater and Teton counties. This RAC covers the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Spotted Bear Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest, and the Seeley Lake Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest.

The Missouri River RAC last convened on May 19, 2022 at 7 p.m. to review the following seven proposals that were submitted in January 2022:


1. Bridging the Gap - Living with Grizzly Bear in Montana

2. York-Nelson Road Dust Abatement Project

3. Landers and Silver King Invasives

4. Upper Magpie livestock water well

5. Mount Helena Road Closure

6. Wood Lake Campground Fence

7. South Helena Fuels and Trails Weed Treatment


This meeting was open to the public.  For more information contact RAC chair Joe Cohenour at 


In September 2021, $424,620 was awarded by the Missouri River RAC to fund the following 18 projects.  Click here to view  RAC project proposals, they include:

  1. Spruce Creek Weed Treatments
  2. Students in Cultural Preservation
  3. Sign Replacement Project
  4. Lincoln OHV Trail Construction
  5. Helena/York Trail Maintenance
  6. Continuation of South Hills Trails
  7. Mt. Helena ADA Accessible Trail
  8. Upper Austin Road
  9. MacDonald Pass Ski Trail Maintenance and Forest Restoration
  10. Youth Forest Monitoring Program
  11. Continental Divide Noxious Weed Project
  12. Old Shooting Range Trailhead Improvement Project
  13. Eagle Guard Station Fence Replacement
  14. Ear Mountain Cabin Rental
  15. Elkhorn Backcountry Trail Weed Treatments
  16. Johnny Crow Habitat Project - South Crow Creek Riparian Improvement
  17. Last Chance Backcountry Horsemen trail clearing, sight posts, and pack support
  18. Beaver Creek Restoration Project

Members of Missouri River RAC:


Category A:

  • Patti Russ 
  • Mike Nordahl
  • Autumn Coleman
  • James Cancroft
  • Lawrence Cole

Category B:

  • Alfred Gilbert
  • Robert Walker
  • Sheri Lionberger
  • Lauri Travis
  • Joe Cohenour

Category C:

  • Dan Pocha
  • Gail Vennes
  • James Paris
  • James Clark
  • Vacant

Central Montana RAC

Central Montana RAC serves Fergus, Judith Basin, Meagher, Pondera, and Wheatland counties. This RAC covers the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest and part of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Contact Acting RAC Coordinator Chiara Cipriano, at 406-594-6497, for more information on how to serve on the Central Montana RAC. The Central Montana RAC has a webpage you can access via the National "Payments to States" web page.

View the project proposals submitted in 2020

Tri-County RAC

The Tri-County RAC is administered by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, and serves Powell, Granite, and Deer Lodge counties. Due to Powell County being part of this RAC, the Helena Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, along with parts of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Lolo National Forests are included in this RAC.

How to Submit a Project Proposal

The Missouri River RAC and Central Montana RAC are currently not soliciting project proposals.  Proposals submitted in January 2022 are anticipated to be reviewed by the Missouri River RAC May 19 at 7 p.m.  Check back here for more information.

We are recruiting!

If you are interested in joining the Missouri River RAC or Central Montana RAC, please fill in the following form (AD-755) and submit to Elizabeth Casselli (, or by mail at Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest c/o Elizabeth Casselli 1220 38th Street North Great Falls, MT 59405

Missouri River RAC - AD755

Central Montana RAC - AD755

More Information

You can also visit the Forest Service, Northern Region website for more information about Resource Advisory Committees. 

US Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee 

Northern Region Resource Advisory Committee 

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)

Missouri River and Central Montana RAC Coordinator:

Elizabeth Casselli

Last updated: May 23, 2022