The U.S. Forest Service is seeking community members to fill multiple vacancies on its two Resource Advisory Committees (RACs).

The Missouri River RAC encompasses Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Teton counties, while the Central Montana RAC encompasses Fergus, Judith Basin, Meagher, Pondera, and Wheatland counties. Members typically meet for an hour once to twice per year to evaluate project proposals and recommend funding for a variety of projects that provide benefit to Forest Service lands.

“The regional forester will review candidate nominations and then appoint the individuals who will serve as a citizen volunteer on the RAC within each specific category,” said designated federal official Sara Mayben. “The intent of the categories is to help ensure that multiple interests are represented.”

Both the Missouri River RAC and Central Montana RAC consist of 15 members representing a specific interest within one of the three categories. The Missouri River RAC is recruiting to fill two positions, while the Central Montana RAC is looking to fill 11 vacancies by the end of January.

Below are the categories/interests:

•Category A — Organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups; developed outdoor recreation, OHV users, commercial recreation activities; energy and mineral development interests or commercial/recreational fishing interests; commercial timber industry; and holders of federal grazing or other land-use permits or representatives of non-industrial private forest landowners within the area for which the committee is organized.

•Category B — Nationally recognized environmental organizations; regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations; dispersed recreation activities; archaeological and historical interests; and national or regionally recognized wild horse or burro groups, wildlife or hunting organizations or watershed organizations.

•Category C — State-elected office-holders or their designees; county or local elected office-holders; American Indian tribal representatives from tribes within or adjacent to the RAC area; school officials or teachers; and citizens representing the affected public-at-large.

Ideal applicants will have an interest in resource management, a strong desire to work collaboratively within a diverse group of interests and reside in Montana. RAC positions are unpaid; however, eligible members can be reimbursed for travel costs. Selected members serve four-year terms.

Community members interested in applying to serve on the Resource Advisory Committees need to complete and submit an application by Jan. 30. Applications are available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/helena/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

Applications need to be submitted by Jan. 30 in one of two ways: by emailing chiara.cipriano@usda.gov or by sending regular mail to the Helena National Forest, ATTN: Chiara Cipriano, 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602.

Funding and administration for RAC projects are provided under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The law directs that funds be spent on projects maintain or remove roads and trails; improve soil and forest ecosystem health; restore watersheds; improve habitat for wildlife and fish; control weeds; and reestablish native ecosystems.

The Missouri River and Central Montana RACs favor projects that have community support and multiple benefits, low administrative costs, can leverage RAC funding with in-kind services and cash-matching and can help create and/or retain jobs.