The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is seeking nominees to fill four 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 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.
On October 2, 2013, Congress passed a one 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.
“We are looking for four individuals who can represent one of the vacant interest categories on the RAC,” Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor Mike Balboni said. “Once we have a pool of candidates, their names are sent to the Secretary of Agriculture to consider for appointment to the RAC.”
At this time the Forest Service is recruiting for members in interest Categories Two and Three. There are no current vacancies in Category One.
Category Two contains two vacant positions that can be filled by individuals representing nationally-recognized environmental organizations and regionally or locally-recognized environmental organizations.
Category Three contains two vacant positions that can be filled by individuals representing state-elected office holders or their designee and county or local elected office holders.
Those interested in applying may nominate themselves. Letters of support from others may also be included with the application. When selections are made, the appointed voting member will become part of the 15-member RAC.
Prospective members are advised that membership on a RAC calls for a commitment of time and energy. Generally, there are three to four meetings held each year at the forest headquarters office in Wenatchee
Committee members will serve a one-year term to meet the requirement of the recently re-chartered Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. Members serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses. They are involved in a pre-meeting review of proposed projects and a project monitoring field trip that is scheduled during summer or fall months in each county.
Members must reside within Washington state and to the extent practicable within the RAC boundary. The geographic boundaries of the RACs are aligned with national forest boundaries, and for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest include lands within Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima Counties.
To obtain an application packet or additional information, contact Robin DeMario, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801, 509-664-9292. Completed application packets should be sent to DeMario by December 16, 2013, at the same address.
RAC application forms and information on Title II legislation is also located on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest web site athttp://go.usa.gov/WY6x .
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. Letters of support from the interest to be represented are helpful, but not required.
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).