This committee is chartered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and will be comprised of 15 members representing a wide array of interests. Cocke and Monroe counties are contributing to projects on federal land in their areas under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act.
The reauthorized Secure Rural Schools Act encourages counties to collaborate with national forests on projects to benefit public lands. Examples of the types of projects that can be implemented include improving the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implementing stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restoring and improving land health and water quality.
The Cherokee Resource Advisory Committee was designated in 2010. Committee members serve four-year terms without compensation. While many active RAC members are in the process of having their terms extended for a maximum of two years, there are currently committee member vacancies available.
Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said, “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.”
The Secure Rural Schools Act gives states and counties payments, tied to the amount of national forest land in the county and other factors.
Counties may designate a portion of the funds to projects reviewed by the RAC. Currently, Cocke County and Monroe County will be contributing funds to projects on federal land that the RAC will be involved with. RAC members must be residents of Tennessee, but do not have to reside in Cocke or Monroe counties.
Tennessee residents from any county interested in serving on the committee must complete an application form that will be used for a required background check.
Applications (AD-755) for RAC membership are available online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs (scroll down to Operations of the Committee – Official Form for RAC background Check – Ad-755); or call the Cherokee National Forest at 423-476-9729.
Printed, signed applications must be mailed by May 27, 2014 to: U.S. Forest Service 2800 Ocoee St. North, Cleveland TN 37312, Attn: PAO–RAC. Please indicate which RAC categories and interests you represent.
Alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call 1-800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.