Here is the list of projects and Title II funds allocated by the North Central Idaho RAC.
The Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet June 17, 2011 at 9:00 a.m in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to review and recommend funding for proposed forest projects. The meeting will be held at the Idaho Panhandle National Forests Supervisor’s Office located at 3815 Schreiber Way. The RAC will distribute approximately $690,000 in funding for natural resource projects in 2012.
Some attention is being paid to Idaho RACs. A Sunday June 12 article in the Idaho Statesman describes how the RACs authorized by the Secure Rural Schools law helped promote collaborative relationships among normally adversarial parties. Statesman reporter Rocky Barker interviewed a number of people including RAC members for the article.
The Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) approved 21 natural resource projects totaling $517,332 during it’s June 3rd meeting in Salmon. When added to the $233,025 in 2012 projects approved in December, the RAC has approved a total of $750,347 worth of resource projects for 2012.
The meeting was the fourth meeting of the RAC since December where they reviewed project propsals and made the final selection of projects for funding for both 2011 funds ($915,411) and 2012 ($750,347).
The funding is made available to Butte, Custer and Lemhi counties through Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2008. The RAC works closely with the Forest Service to recommend projects that will benefit forest health, fish, wildlife, soils, watersheds and other resources; maintain roads, trails and other infrastructure; or control noxious weeds.
RAC projects must be located on National Forest System Lands in Custer, Lemhi or Butte counties or on other nearby lands for the projects to benefit the resources on the National Forests. Projects can be completed by Forest Service personnel, through partnership agreements or by open-bid contracting with individuals and corporations.
The RAC will meet one more time in late August to finalize project recommendations for 2012. The RAC authority to recommend Title II projects expires September 30, 2011.
For more information on the RAC contact RAC Coordinator, Kent Fuellenbach at 208-756-5145.
Local road and school systems in counties with National Forests have shared in receipts for more than 100 years. And in the past ten years counties could option to accept payments under a law that established a stable payment to mitigate the loss of timber receipts and year to year changes. The reauthorized Secure Rural Schools Act will have one final payment to counties in February 2012. County officials will decide prior to September 30, 2011 the allocation of their payments between Title I (roads and schools), Title II (Federal forest projects) and Title III (county safety projects).
With an uncertain future it seems an appropriate time as any to look back.
The past ten years has afforded an unusual level of stability for Idaho counties (with a few exceptions) so they could anticipate their future payment. The chart at left shows the payments since 1990, with the first decade showing the year to year changes as the timber market in part drove receipts followed by the decrease in the Forest Service timber program in the latter half of the 1990s. (Click on the chart to see a larger picture).
The second decade includes seven years of the Craig-Wyden Act payments and establishment of Titles II and III. Resource Advisory Committees were established across Idaho to recommend projects using Title II funds.