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Sun, Dec. 08

Prescott National Forest seeks volunteers for project review

Prescott National Forest is recruiting members of the community to review and recommend forest management and restoration projects through the Yavapai Resource Advisory Committee. In the past four years, the RAC recommended 58 projects for funds totaling $1.8 million going toward projects in Yavapai County.

On Oct. 3, 2008, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 was reauthorized as part of Public Law 110-343. The new Secure Rural Schools Act has some changes that encourage counties to collaborate with National Forests on projects to benefit public lands.

The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish Resource Advisory Committees consisting of 15 members whose duties include reviewing and recommending proposed forest management projects in accordance with the Act. The RAC under the current re-authorization is involved in monitoring ongoing projects for this year and would be involved in project recommendations if Congress extends any authorization in the future.

The Act encourages a high degree of local representation. Also, the committee is to be balanced with equal representation from industry, environmental groups, elected officials and local people. The RAC is seeking candidates for the Secretary of Agriculture to consider for appointment to the RAC. The composition of the RAC is to be diverse and balanced.

The Yavapai RAC has 15 regular members and three replacement members. It is seeking to fill seats for five regular members and three replacement members. The three replacement members will become participating members of the RAC only if one of the 15 regular members must permanently leave the committee. The time commitment to serve on the advisory committee would involve one to two half-day meetings per year in Prescott, and approximately one day on your own to review projects.

To ensure that the recommendations of the committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the department, membership will include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women and people with disabilities.

There are some conditions associated with serving on the RAC: Members must reside within Yavapai County, members serve a four-year term, and members do not receive compensation.

Anyone interested in being nominated for RAC membership may contact Debbie Maneely, RAC coordinator at 928-443-8130 or dmaneely@fs.fed.us for an application packet. The RAC Recruit Form and the AD755 (Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information) are available online at http://tinyurl.com/Yavapai-RAC-Applicant-Form.

Due to sensitive personal information on the application, mail, not email, your application to Prescott National Forest, ATTN: Debbie Maneely, 344 S. Cortez, Prescott, AZ 86303.

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