Advisory Committees

IDAHO PANHANDLE NATIONAL FORESTS RESOURCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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View out over forested landscape and Priest Lake from adjacent mountaintop

Idaho Panhandle RAC Seeks 2024 Project Proposals

The Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee is accepting project proposals for the 2024 Title II Secure Rural Schools Act funding cycle.

The committee will meet on July 8, 2024, to review proposals and make funding recommendations. This year's allocation is $442,499.00.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Monday, June 10, 2024. Applications for RAC proposals can be found linked below.

RAC-funded projects must be located on National Forest System Lands in Shoshone, Kootenai, Benewah, Boundary or Bonner counties, or on nearby lands if the project will benefit resources on the National Forests. 

Projects can be completed by Forest Service personnel, through partnership agreements, or by open bid contracting with individuals and corporations. The RAC works closely with the Forest Service to recommend projects that will benefit forest health, fish, wildlife, soils, watersheds and other resources; maintain roads, trails and other infrastructure; or control noxious weeds.

Potential project sponsors are encouraged to contact their local Forest Service offices to obtain information that may be needed for a proposal, including a Forest Service contact, and to ensure proper agreements and paperwork are completed that will enable the project sponsor to obtain funding if approved by the RAC.

Completed applications must be received either electronically or by hardcopy form on or before the June 10, 2024, deadline. Applicants may submit completed proposal applications by email to patrick.lair@usda.gov or by mail to Idaho Panhandle RAC, Attn: Patrick Lair, 3232 West Nursery Road, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815.

The RAC will review and recommend project proposals for approval at their next meeting scheduled for Monday, July 8, 2024, starting at 9:00 am at the Idaho Panhandle National Forest Headquarters located at 3232 West Nursery Road, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815.

Meetings are always open to the public. 

You can also join this meeting online

Propose a Project

Projects are considered for Title II funding if they make additional investments in, and create employment opportunities through:

  • Improvement of existing infrastructure maintenance;
  • Implementation of stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems;
  • Restoration and improvement of land health and water quality.
  • Projects must comply with all applicable Federal laws and regulations.
  • Projects must be consistent with the applicable resource management plan and with any watershed or subsequent plan developed pursuant to the resource management plan.

The funds may be used for projects that have broad-based support and with objectives that include:

  • road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration;
  • soil productivity improvement;
  • forest ecosystem health improvements;
  • watershed restoration and maintenance;
  • wildlife and fish habitat restoration, maintenance, and improvement;
  • noxious and exotic weeds control
  • native species re-establishment

At least 50% of all project funds are to be used for projects that are primarily dedicated to road maintenance, decommissioning, or obliteration; or to restoration of streams and watersheds.

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.

Who Can Apply

  • Federal agencies
  • State and local governments
  • Private entities
  • Nonprofit entities
  • Landowners

Applicants should consult with the local District Ranger prior to proposal submission. Projects must be reviewed and recommended by the local Resource Advisory Committee and approved by the Designated Federal Officer for that committee.

Project Proposal Form.pdf

Title II Project Proposal Checklist.pdf

Project Proposal Instructions.pdf

RAC Membership

In May 2023, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed 10 new members to the 15-member Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee. As authorized under the Secure Rural Schools Act and Community Self-Determination Act in Public Law 110-343, the Idaho Panhandle RAC members participate in collaborative decision making and distribution of Title II funding for projects on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The committee’s duties include recommending projects and funding to improve forest health, watersheds, roads and facilities on or adjacent to the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

Find the list of Idaho Panhandle RAC membership here

Committee members work across a wide variety of interests to successfully propose or approve projects and associated funding for improvements that benefit the residents of north Idaho, as well as those who come to visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Past projects include; noxious weed control, road realignment, trail construction and improvement, timber sale preparation, and the restoration of fish passages to restore native species.

RAC committee members are officially appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture for a term of four years and must be able to commit to the committee responsibilities that include several full-day meetings each year. Members must be a resident of Idaho and should reside within Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone or Benewah County to the extent practicable.

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. The Idaho Panhandle RAC has a proven track record of improving collaborative relationships. RAC committees must be balanced and diverse with equal representation from industry, environmental groups, recreation groups, elected officials, and local residents.

Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committees Membership Categories

Category A

Category B

Category C

 

  • Represent organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups;

 

  • Represent developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities;
  • Represent energy and mineral development interests; or commercial or recreational fishing interests;
  • Represent the commercial timber industry; or
  • 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 recognized environmental organizations;

 

  • Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations;

 

  • Dispersed recreational activities;

 

  • Archaeological and historical interests; or

 

  • Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations.
  • Hold State elected office (or a designee);

 

  • Hold county or local elected office;

 

  • Represent American Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the committee is organized;

 

  • Are school officials or teachers; or

 

  • Represent the affected public at large.

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 2023

Fiscal Year 2022

  • No committee activity

Fiscal Year 2021

  • No committee activity

Fiscal Year 2020

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

 

Key Contacts

Regional SRS Coordinator

Jeffrey Miller

(406) 329-3576


Idaho Panhandle RAC

Designated Federal Official

Timothy Gilloon

(208) 765-7223


RAC Coordinator

Patrick Lair

(208) 765-7211