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RACs are back in business, sort of, until September 30, 2012

June 20th, 2012 Comments off

In a June 7, 2012 decision memo the Secretary of Agriculture reestablished the Secure Rural Schools Act resource advisory committees (RACs) by approving the charter, the addendum listing the committees and a membership balance plan.  Lots of background information is available here.

Since October 2011 the six Secure Rural School RACs in Idaho have not operated because their authorization had expired and a new Charter had not yet been approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.  Idaho RACs had completed their work by the September 30, 2011 deadline where they made recommendations on projects to use Title II funds.

For the period Sept. 30, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012 RACs have authority to meet and monitor the implementation of the Title II-funded projects.  But without the Charter being renewed the RAC could not even meet to have field trips to inspect Title II projects and to interact with one another.  With the Charter in place there may be some RACs in Idaho planning a monitoring and inspection event.  We will provide information when we hear of such meetings.

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BLM Resource Advisory Committee Looking for New Appointees

May 14th, 2012 Comments off

BLM Extends Nomination Period for Advisory Council Vacancies

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is extending the deadline for nominations for six open positions on its Coeur d’Alene District Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The Coeur d’Alene RAC consists of members from Boundary, Bonner, Benewah, Kootenai, Shoshone, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Clearwater, Idaho and Adams counties.   

Nominations are due June 4, 2012.

The BLM is looking for a diverse group of people representing industry, environmental organizations, historical and archaeological groups, state and local governments, Indian tribes, and the general public.  Resource Advisory Councils are citizen-based groups that make recommendations to the BLM regarding public land and resource management, including land-use planning, recreation, fire management, livestock grazing, and wild horse and burro herd management. Read more…

Deadline Looms on RACs, Title II Projects

September 26th, 2011 Comments off

September 30, 2011 is the deadline for Resource Advisory Committees to complete their recommendations on proposed projects that would use Title II funds to improve National Forest resources.

The Secure Rural Schools law included this deadline as part of the reauthorization in the fall of 2008.  RACs will continue to have the authority to meet to monitor the implementation of the projects that use Title II funds.

September 30, 2011 is also the deadline for counties and states to submit their allocations between Titles II and III for the upcoming payment.

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Title II Funds and Idaho RACs 2001 – 2009

May 20th, 2010 Comments off

Ever wonder how much Title II funding has come to Idaho over the years?  The chart below shows how much money has been allocated to each RAC in Idaho since the RACs were established in late 2001.

Over the years the payent formula under PL 106-393 and the decisions of the county officials provided for steady payments and a fairly reliable financial base for RACs to use for making project recommendations.  The only bigg change in those years was 2001 to 2002 when additional funds were made available to the Idaho Panhandle RAC after the Shoshone County Commissioners increased their allocation to Title II.

Following the enactment of PL 110-343 the payment to Idaho jumped considerably with substantial benefits to the North Central Idaho RAC, the Central Idaho RAC, and the Eastern Idaho RAC.  The Southwest Idaho RAC and Panhandle RAC continued to receive a similar amount of funds.  The South Central RAC was appointed as funds became available for that committee to operate.

While Title II funds ballooned to more than $6 million statewide following FY 2008, the most recent payment has dropped by a million dollars in in large part to the total payments coming to Idaho counties dropping ten percent or about $5 million, from roughly $44 million to $39 million.  The next two years of payments are scheduled to also drop ten percent per year.

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