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:
- Advisory committees established for other purposes (such as BLM Resource Advisory Councils)
- 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: https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council
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 https://www.fs.usda.gov/pts/
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.
Questions and Answers
What does a Recreation RAC Do?
The Recreation RAC provides recommendations on recreation fee proposals on federal lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
What kinds of fees do Recreation RACs consider?
The Recreation RACs do 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 or BLM special recreation permits issued for group events such as bike races.
Who serves on a Recreation RAC?
A total of 11 members will serve on each Recreation RAC:
- Category One: Five people who represent recreation users and include as appropriate: winter motorized, winter non-motorized, summer motorized, summer non-motorized, and hunting and fishing.
- Category Two: Three people who represent interest groups that include, as appropriate: motorized outfitters and guides, non-motorized outfitter and guides, local environmental groups.
- Category Three: 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.
What are the responsibilities of individual committee members?
1. Represent interests of groups by generating information necessary from interest groups, and sharing discussions as appropriate.
2. Understand and agree to meeting commitments:
- A quorum, 8 members, must exist for the Recreation RAC to hold an official meeting.
- A majority of members from each of three member groups (at least 7 members) must be present and agree to make recommendations.
3. Work in a team setting and be open to discussing and understanding differing viewpoints.
Are Recreation RAC meetings open to the public?
Yes. Recreation RACs are chartered committees and therefore will include a public comment period. However non-committee members will not be able to participate directly in committee discussions or exercises unless invited.
How will the public know about Recreation RAC meetings?
All meetings of must be published in the Federal Register 15 days before the meeting as well as announced through local media. These announcements include a tentative agenda for the meeting and public comment time, so people can determine whether or not they would like to attend. In addition, links to all meeting announcements, agendas and notes will be available at each Recreation RAC web site.
Are Recreation RAC members paid?
Recreation RAC members do not receive compensation; however, they are reimbursed for transportation, lodging and meal expenses.
How long do members serve?
Members will serve either two or three year terms.
Can I be reappointed to the Recreation RAC or am I limited to one term?
The Secretary of Agriculture may choose to appoint Recreation RAC members to one additional term.
How long will the Recreation RACs last?
Recreation RACs will be in place as long as the REA exists, which has been extended until September 2017.
What is the Recreation RAC Charter?
The charter (PDF, 245 KB) is the document that officially identifies the membership, duties, costs, meeting requirements and any special instructions for the Recreation RACs. This document is renewed every two years.
Can members give input on items other than recreation fees?
Recreation RAC members are members of the public and can give comments and opinions, on an individual basis, on any aspect of Forest Service or BLM management. However, in terms of the formal recommendation process as described in the REA, Recreation RACs are limited to the roles and duties outlined in their charter.
What are replacements?
Replacements will also be chosen from those who apply for Recreation RAC positions. Replacements will be asked to serve on the Recreation RAC if a position becomes vacant. They do not serve if a member must be absent from a meeting.
Who can nominate?
You may nominate yourself, someone from your organization or anyone else who you believe would serve the needs of the Recreation RAC.
What do you do with recreation fee revenue?
Check out the national, regional and local accomplishment reports to see how and where funds were spent.