We could use sombody on this committee. Any Volunteers?
Citizens Sought for Resource Advisory Committee
Wenatchee, WA—The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is seeking nominees to fill vacancies on its 15-member Resource Advisory Committee (RAC), which reviews projects funded by the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.
The makeup of the advisory committee is diverse, with representation from industry, environmental groups, elected officials, forest-user groups, and public at large.
RAC members review proposed land management projects on or adjacent to national forest lands in Chelan, Okanogan, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties. They then make recommendations to the Forest Service in accordance with the Act on which projects should be funded. The Forest Service seeks committee members committed to working collaboratively with other interests for the long-term benefit of national forest system lands.
“We are looking for individuals who can represent different interest categories on the RAC,” Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams said. “Once we have a pool of candidates, their names are sent to the Secretary of Agriculture to consider for appointment to the RAC.”
Committee members are sought who are committed to working collaboratively with other interests for the long-term benefit of national forest system lands.
Committee members serve a three-year term without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses. Day-long meetings are generally held in the spring at the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Headquarters office in Wenatchee, and project monitoring field trips are scheduled during summer or fall months in each county.
Members must reside within the State in which the RAC is located, and to the extent practicable within the RAC boundary. Prospective members are advised that membership on a RAC calls for a substantial commitment of time and energy.
These committees are to be balanced and diverse with equal representation from industry, environmental groups, elected officials, and local people. Specifically, the composition of each RAC is to be balanced according to the following three interest categories identified in Public Law 106-393:
Category One: five persons who represent one or more of the following interests:
Organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups
Developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities
Energy and mineral development
Commercial timber industry
Commercial or recreational fishing interests
Federal grazing permit holders or land use permit holders within the RAC area
Non industrial private forest land owners
Category Two: five persons who represent one or more of the following interests:
Nationally recognized environmental organizations
Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations
Dispersed recreation activities
Archaeological and historical interests
Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse or burro groups
Wildlife or hunting organizations
Category Three: five persons who represent one or more of the following interests):
State-elected office holders or their designee
County or local elected office holders
American Indian tribal representatives from tribes within or adjacent to RAC areas
School officials or teachers
Citizens representing the affected public at large
In April 2015, Congress passed a two year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The Act authorizes use of RACs as a mechanism for local community collaboration with federal land managers in recommending projects that benefit natural resources.
Those interested in applying may nominate themselves. Letters of support from the interest to be represented are helpful, but not required. When selections are made, the appointed voting member will become part of the 15-member RAC. There are three replacement member vacancies that also need to be filled.
RAC application forms and information on Title II legislation is located on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest web site at http://go.usa.gov/WY6x (scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to the application form). For additional information, contact Robin DeMario, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801, phone 509-664-9292. Completed application packets should be sent to DeMario, at the same address.
Nominees will be evaluated based on their education, training and experience working within the interest area they represent. Consideration is also made for their knowledge of the geographic area covered by the RAC, demonstrated commitment to collaborative resource decision-making, and contribution to the balance and diversity of the RAC.
Equal opportunity practices, in line with U.S. Department of Agriculture policies, shall be followed in all membership appointments to the committee. Membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women and persons with disabilities to ensure the recommendations of the committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Department. RACs are authorized under Section 205 of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (Public Law 106-393).
Forest Service Shield
Public Affairs Specialist
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98826
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