Advisory Committees

IDAHO PANHANDLE NATIONAL FORESTS RESOURCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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RAC Meetings & Project Solicitation

The Idaho Panhandle RAC is excited to announce that it will begin accepting applications for project funding beginning September 21, 2020. The project application period will close November 20, 2020, after which applications for this funding cycle will no longer be accepted. It is anticipated that the RAC will then meet some time during the week of December 7, 2020 to review and make final recommendations for funding.

Applications will be accepted by using the project proposal form. Please direct all questions to the RAC Coordinator, Phillip Blundell, at phillip.blundell@usda.gov.

RAC Membership

Photo of trees in the foreground with a large lake in the background.The 15-member Idaho Panhandle Committee members participate in collaborative decision-making and recommend distribution of Title II funding for projects to improve forest health, watersheds, roads and facilities on or adjacent to the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Applicants must be a resident of Idaho and should reside within Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah or Latah Counties to the extent practicable. RAC committee members will be officially appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture for a term of four years.

RAC committees are to be balanced and diverse with equal representation from industry, environmental groups, recreation groups, elected officials, and local residents. The committee typically has several full-day meetings each year. Past funding amounts have averaged more than half a million dollars each year. Applicants are evaluated based on their training and experience working in the interest group they represent, their demonstrated commitment to collaborative decision-making, and their contribution to the balance and diversity of the RAC. Vacancies are filled periodically in each category A, B or C in either of the interest areas shown below:

Category A

  • organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups
  • developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities

Category B

  • nationally recognized environmental organizations
  • archaeological and historical interests

Category C

  • state-elected office holder (or a designee)
  • American Indian Tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the committee is organized

We do not currently have any openings for new RAC members. However, if you would like to be considered for future membership, please check back here in the future or contact Phillip Blundell, RAC Coordinator, at 208-783-2101 or phillip.blundell@usda.gov.

RAC Background Information

Congress passed legislation in 2000 to restore stability and predictability to the annual payments made to states and counties containing National Forest lands. The "Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000" (Public Law 106-393) (150k pdf) establishes Resource Advisory Committees (RAC's), appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and consisting of fifteen local citizens and three replacement members. The five Idaho Advisory Committees include the Idaho Panhandle RAC, the North Central RAC, the SW Idaho RAC, the Eastern Idaho RAC and the Central Idaho RAC. Additional information about resource advisory committees is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs.

Funding for projects on National Forest System Lands will come primarily from a portion of the increased payments counties receive under Public Law 115-141 which reauthorized the Secure Rural Schools Program (SRS). Counties receiving more than $100,000 are required to set aside between 15 and 20 percent of funds for projects on National Forest (Title II) or for county natural resource programs (Title III) specifically authorized by the Act. Counties have the discretion to adjust their allocation between Title II and Title III each year. The remaining 80-85 percent of payments are used for traditional programs as provided under Idaho law (70% toward county roads and 30% for schools).

The purpose of the RAC is "to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the land management agencies consistent with the purposes of the Act." Members of the Idaho Panhandle RAC represent a variety of interests ranging from organized labor, mining, grazing and timber interests, nationally and locally recognized environmental organizations, tribal representatives and elected officials.

The Resource Advisory Committee will:

  • Review projects proposed under Title II.
  • Propose projects and funding for projects benefiting National Forest lands.
  • Provide early and continuous coordination with appropriate land management agency officials in recommending projects consistent with purposes of the Act.
  • Provide frequent opportunities for citizens, organizations, tribes, land management agencies and other interested parties to participate openly and meaningfully, from the early stages of the project development through implementation.

Committee Recommendations and Meeting Notes

Fiscal Year 2019

Fiscal Year 2018

No committee activity

Fiscal Year 2017

No committee activity

Fiscal Year 2016

Fiscal Year 2015

  • No committee activity

Fiscal Year 2014

Fiscal Year 2013

Fiscal Year 2012

For additional information, please contact Phillip Blundell, RAC Coordinator, at 208-783-2101 or phillip.blundell@usda.gov.



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