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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Forest committee seeking volunteers

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mark Twain National Forest and Oregon, Ripley and Shannon Counties are seeking candidate volunteers to serve on a resource advisory committee (RAC).

The committee will determine how some federal funds are spent in the three listed counties. Funds are returned to counties annually as part of a federal revenue-sharing program for counties that contain National Forest System lands.

RAC members will consider and recommend to Forest Service projects that benefit national forest land in the affected counties; monitors projects and provides advice.

Fifteen members and three alternates are needed in order to form this committee. Committee members serve four-year terms. There is no compensation for committee members. The 15 members represent the following interests as described in the Secure Rural School Act that was re-authorized September 2008 by Congress:

Category I -- Five persons representing the following interests: organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups; developed outdoor recreation, off highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities; energy and mineral development, or commercial or recreational fishing interests: commercial timber industry; or hold Federal grazing permits or other land use permits or represent non-industrial private forest land owners.

Category II -- Five persons who represent nationally recognized environmental organizations; regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations; dispersed recreational activities; archaeological and historical interests; or nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations.

Category III -- Five persons who 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; school officials or teachers; or represent the affected public-at-large.

Replacement members don't vote but as with voting members, they will undergo required reviews so they can fill RAC vacancies more quickly should that become necessary.

"We're looking for people with energy and commitment to the long-term benefit of our national forests, who also are interested in working with a diverse array of interests represented on the committee," said Richard Hall, Mark Twain National Forest's Secure Rural Schools coordinator.

Secure Rural Schools Act gives states and counties payments for the next four years tied to the amount of national forest land in the county and other factors. Counties designate a portion of the funds to projects reviewed by RAC.

Any Missouri resident interested in serving on the committee must complete an application form that will be used for a required background check. Applications are available online at the following Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/marktwai.... Printed, signed applications are due by April 24. Mail them to: RAC, Forest Service, Attn: Richard Hall, 401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, MO 65401.

For more information about Secure Rural Schools Act: http://www.fs.fed.us/srs/

For updated info about Mark Twain National Forest: www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/marktwain or contact your local Mark Twain National Forest office.

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