Sunday, April 14, 2024
67.0°F

Project submission deadline looms for Resource Advisory Committee

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | September 20, 2023 12:00 AM

The Mineral County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Lolo National Forest works collaboratively to improve working relationships among community members and national forest employees.

Each RAC meets up to four times per year in a location and facility that is accessible to the public and is comprised of a group of local citizens representing varied interests and expertise.

If you live in Mineral County and enjoy doing most anything outdoors, you are already 95% qualified to become a member. And more members are needed.

RAC awards money to improve public land and resources making recreation more enjoyable. The Mineral County Rails to Trails program is a recent recipient to connect segments of the trail that are on private property.

The new vault toilet in the St. Regis Community Park? That’s supported by RAC, too, and they have another tank of money ($275,851) so they are accepting project proposals for next year.

However, the project submission deadline is the close of business on Wednesday, Oct. 18, which isn’t far off. Funding and administration for the Mineral County RAC is provided under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self–Determination Act.

The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act funds activities that benefit federal lands and resources in Mineral County. The Title II funds are designed to make investments in public lands and create additional employment opportunities through projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land health and water quality.

These projects are also designed to improve cooperative relationships among the people that use and care for public lands and the agencies that manage these lands. At least 50 percent of all funds must be used for projects primarily dedicated to restoring streams and watersheds, and road maintenance, decommissioning, or removal.

Organizations and Individuals are encouraged to submit their proposals as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the project proponent to coordinate with Forest Service staff and all other partners prior to submitting the proposal to ensure it is complete and meets the intent of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. Please visit the Forest’s Resource Advisory Committee website for the application and more information.

The Mineral County RAC will meet this fall to review proposals and make funding recommendations. Meeting dates and locations have not yet been finalized. For more information or details on submitting a project proposal, contact Heather Berman, Acting Mineral County RAC Coordinator, at (406) 210-5287 or heather.berman@usda.gov.