RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests are seeking candidates to serve on the Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee. The committee’s purpose is to improve the community and collaborative relationships among those interested in the work of national forests and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service on projects funded under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act.
The USDA charters the advisory committee and comprises 15 members representing a wide array of interests. Committee members must be residents of Arkansas or Oklahoma, but do not have to reside in the counties containing national forests. Members represent a wide array of National Forest interests organized into three categories, specified in Section 205 (d)(2) of the Act:
A – Five persons who represent organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups; represent developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities; represent energy and mineral development interests; or commercial or recreational fishing interests; represent the commercial timber industry, or; hold federal grazing or other land use permits, or represent nonindustrial private forest land owners, within the area for which the committee is organized.
B – Five persons who represent nationally recognized environmental organizations; regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations; dispersed recreational activities; archaeological and historical interests or; nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations.
C – Five persons who hold State elected office (or a designee); hold county or local elected office; represent American Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the committee is organized; are school officials or teachers, or; represent the affected public at large.
“The Secure Rural Schools Act encourages collaboration on projects to benefit public lands and local communities,” said Craig McBroome, Designated Federal Official for the Ozark-Ouachita RAC. “Examples of projects that are typically considered include enhancing wildlife habitats, maintaining existing recreational developments, and improving roads for user access and benefiting water quality.”
Application forms and instructions are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/osfnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Committee members are not paid for their participation. Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Nominations and applications are due April 17, 2023.
Please email Caroline Mitchell at email@example.com for more information on the application process. For additional information about the Secure Rural Schools legislation, including Titles I, II, and III, visit the SRS website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/secure-rural-schools.
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