Forest Service seeking committee members to advise on recreation site fees

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VALLEJO, Calif., April 15, 2019– The United States Department of Agriculture’s Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill the eleven member Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) in California.  Recreation RAC members provide recommendations to the Agency on recreation fee changes at national forest sites throughout the state of California. This includes making recreation fee program recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees; expanded amenity fees; and noncommercial, individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and fee-level changes. Nominations are now being accepted through August 1, 2019.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), signed in December 2004, directs the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, or both to establish Recreation RACs, or use existing advisory committees to perform the duties of Recreation RACs, in each state or region for Federal recreation lands and waters managed by the USDA Forest Service or the DOI Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  REA and Recreation RAC involvement does not apply to Forest Service recreation fee sites under concessionaire management.

Committee membership will be fairly balanced in terms of the point of view represented and functions to be performed. The Committee’s jurisdiction includes national forests and/or BLM managed lands, in the state of California. They receive travel and per diem expenses for regularly scheduled meetings, but do not receive pay or other compensation.

The Recreation RAC shall include representation in the following areas:

(1)     Five persons who represent recreation users and that include, as appropriate, persons representing

(a)   Winter motorized recreation such as snowmobiling;

(b)   Winter nonmotorized recreation such as snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, and snowboarding;

(c)   Summer motorized recreation such as motorcycling, boating, and off-highway vehicle driving;

(d)   Summer nonmotorized recreation such as backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing, and rafting; and

(e)   Hunting and fishing.

(2)     Three persons who represent interest groups that include, as appropriate –                                                                                       

(a)   Motorized outfitters and guides;

(b)   Nonmotorized outfitters and guides; and

(c)   Local environmental groups.

(3)     Three persons who are –

(a)   State tourism official representing the State;

(b)   A representative of affected Indian tribes; and

(c)   A representative of affected local government interests.

The Secretary shall appoint the members for staggered terms of 2 and 3 years beginning on the date that the members are first appointed. The Secretary may reappoint members to subsequent 2- or 3-year terms. Membership appointments are based on the following criteria:

·         Qualifications to represent the desired interest group

·         Rationale for committee service and desired contributions

·         Experience working successfully as part of a collaborative group

Nominees’ demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women and persons with disabilities will also be considered in membership selections.

“The Forest Service values working with our partners and local community members who volunteer to serve as the Region’s Recreation Resource Advisory Committee,” said Randy Moore, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester. “We will value their recommendations and count on their expertise and willingness to help. Our shared goal is improved outdoor recreation experiences for visitors and a healthy economy for our rural communities.”

For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/recreation/racs, or contact Matthew Boisseau at 707-562-8846, matthew.boisseau@usda.gov.

Interested individuals must complete an application and provide background information supporting their qualifications to represent at least one of the identified interest groups. Applications are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/recreation/racs. Completed applications are due by August 1, 2019 and must be mailed to: USFS Region 5- Recreation RAC Nomination Attn: Matthew Boisseau, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, or email to matthew.boisseau@usda.gov.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.

The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.

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