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Recreation Resource Advisory Committees

Overview | Organization | Applying for Membership | Q&A's | Roles and Responsibilities


Recreation Resource Advisory Committees

The Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) gives the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Interior the authority to establish, modify, charge and collect recreation fees at Federal recreational lands. REA also requires the Secretaries to establish Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (Recreation RACs).

The Recreation RACs are Federal Advisory Committees. They provide recommendations on recreation fee proposals on federal lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). All meetings of Recreation RACs are open to the public and include opportunities for public comment.

To discover more about the Forest Service region you plan to visit and learn about local pass options and how to purchase a pass click on a region of the left.


Under REA, the Forest Service and BLM are able to share Recreation RACs where appropriate. 

The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are working with two types of advisory committees that make recommendations on recreation fee proposals:

  1. Advisory committees established for other purposes (such as BLM Resource Advisory Councils)
  2. Forest Service established Recreation RACs

Forest Service Recreation RACs have been existence since 2007 and have their charter (383 KB PDF) renewed every two years.

Purpose of Recreation RACs:

The Recreation RACs provide recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees, expanded amenity fees, and non-commercial individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and fee level changes (increases or decreases).

Recreation RACs do not make recommendations on recreation fee sites operated by a concessionaire or contractor, commercial permits such as outfitting and guiding, or Forest Service special use permits and BLM special recreation permits issued for group events such as bike races.

Recreation RAC Members:

Forest Service established Recreation RACs consist of 11 members who represent the following interests as indicated in REA:

Five people who represent recreation users and include as appropriate:

  • Winter motorized
  • Winter non-motorized
  • Summer motorized
  • Summer non-motorized
  • Hunting and fishing

Three people who represent interest groups that include as appropriate:

  • Motorized outfitters and guides
  • Non-motorized outfitter and guides
  • Local environmental groups

Three people, one in each position:

  • State tourism official
  • A person who represents affected local government interests
  • A person who represents affected Indian tribes' issues

Existing Advisory Committees, such as the BLM Resource Advisory Councils, will retain their current membership. However these advisory councils may consider establishing subcommittees specifically to address recreation fees.



Forest Service Recreation RACs

Eastern Recreation RAC - Covers the eastern states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

Southern Recreation RAC - Covers the southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

Pacific Southwest Recreation RAC - Covers the state of California.

Existing Advisory Boards

Three regions, Rocky Mountain Region, Intermountain Region, and Southwestern Region are using existing Bureau of Land Management RACs.  To learn more about those RACs, visit:

The Pacific Northwest Region is using Secure Rural Schools RACs and some Bureau of Land Management RACs.  Secure Rural School RAC information is found at 

One National Forest is working with an already established advisory board:

Black Hills National Forest and Oglala National Grassland are using Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board

Not using an advisory body

As allowed by REA and in consultation with the Governors of the states of Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming, the Secretary of Agriculture decided not to establish a Recreation RAC.


Applying for Membership

Would you like to serve on or nominate someone for a Recreation RAC?

Applying for membership on a recreation RAC:

The Forest Service will solicit applications for membership on a periodic basis as terms of members end or positions are vacated. If you are interested in serving on a Forest Service Recreation RAC, please contact the region for the area in which you are interested to learn when and what positions are currently vacant.

Application/nomination steps for Forest Service RACs:

1. Identify which Recreation RAC you are considering.

2. Read the questions and answers and the roles and responsibilities to determine if you or your nominee is willing to commit to the Recreation RAC.

3. Write a narrative statement on each Nominee Evaluation Criteria. In addition, please check with the Recreation RAC coordinator in the state or region for which you are applying for any additional criteria they may have.

Nominee Evaluation Criteria

Please use narrative statements to show how your background and experience meets each of the following criteria:

1. Identify what interest group you represent and how you are qualified to represent that group.

2. State why you want to serve on the committee and what you can contribute.

3. Show your past experience in working successfully as part of a collaborative group.

4. Complete the Background Information Form (AD-755)

This form is required for selection to advisory councils and will be used to conduct a background clearance.

Two versions are included:

  • Word processing version. This document in rich text format (.rtf). Using this version will allow you to fill it out using your word processing program.
  • Adobe Acrobat version. This is a .pdf. You will need Acrobat Reader to fill out the information.

Instructions for the AD-755

A) Please fill out all information in items 1-6, including Social Security Number and date of birth.

B) Item 7 is voluntary and optional.

C) Please fill out items 8

D) Please fill out items 11, 12, 13, 15-18 as applicable.

E) Please fill out item 14. Even though we have a separate "evaluation criteria" that asks this question, it must also be answered on this form. Thank you.

F) Please put NA (not applicable) in items 10, 10a, & 19.

G) Be sure to sign and date the form.

5. Letters of recommendation will be accepted, but are not required.

6. Turn all of your information in to the Recreation RAC coordinator (listed above) for the State or Region for which you are applying.

7. Selections will be made upon review of the application packets, approval by the Secretary of Agriculture or designee and completion of background clearances.