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The Tuolumne – Mariposa County Resource Advisory Committee (R.A.C.) is trying to increase its local community outreach.

RAC Chairperson, Ginger Armstrong, was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Armstrong is reaching out to interested parties in order to increase community outreach and receive solicitations and proposals. The community advisory committee of fifteen members is part of legislation that provides funding to stabilize funding of county roads, schools, forest enhancement projects and provides employment opportunities.

The Forest Service uses a variety of methods to solicit nominees for the Secure Rural School RACs, including radio and appropriate websites. Solicitations are made via public meetings and workshops, or in individual contacts via e-mail and telephone among networks of tribal officials, county officials, interest groups, forest users and other stakeholders.

Care is taken to solicit nominations from non-traditional audiences and underserved populations to ensure that USDA policies on civil rights are met, as well as the requirements of the Act.

Each nominee is required to submit a form to the appropriate local Forest Service official such as the RAC Designated Federal Official (DFO), RAC coordinator, Forest Supervisor or District Ranger.

The DFO will assemble a list of nominees using the RAC nomination and selection form. Forest supervisors forward a slate of nominees with recommendations for appointments through the Chief to the Secretary. These recommendations consider the advice of Forest Supervisors, tribal officials and county officials, and the following criteria: qualifications to represent the specific interest outlined in the Act, geographic representation across the area potentially affected by RAC advice, gender, ethnic diversity, persons with a disability, community support, consensus-building ability, dedication to serving the community’s interests, and active participation in the current natural resource issues.

The Secretary’s office performs a background check on nominees, based on information provided on the form. After nominees are cleared through the background check, the Secretary reviews the nominations and makes the selection of members. Newly appointed members receive a letter from the Secretary and a certificate of appointment. The process of nominating, reviewing and selecting members may take a month or more.

The Tuolumne- Mariposa RAC consists of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Committee members are represented by the interests of the following three categories:

Category A
5 persons that represent

Organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups
Developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities;
Energy and mineral development interests; or commercial or recreational fishing interests
Commercial timber industry
Federal grazing or other land use permit holders or represent nonindustrial private forest land owners, within the area for which the RAC is organized

Category B
5 persons that represent
Nationally recognized environmental organizations
Regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations
Dispersed recreational activities
Archaeological and historical interests
Nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations

Category C
5 persons that
Hold state elected office or their 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
Represent the affected public at large.

Proposals and solicitations are due on April 22nd and all projects must be on the National Forest or adjacent private land.

For the application form or for further information call Armstrong at (209) 586-4336.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

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