Central Montana RAC to recommend project funding

The Central Montana Resource Advisory Committee , which serves Judith Basin, Meagher, Fergus and Wheatland counties, will meet on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Stanford at the Judith Ranger District office (109 Central Avenue) to review proposals and recommend funding for projects. Project proponents are encouraged to attend the meeting and be prepared to answer questions regarding their projects.

“After thorough review and some question-and-answer time at the meeting, RAC members will rank the projects and make recommendations of what projects should receive the available funding,” RAC Coordinator Dave Cunningham said.

The Central Montana RAC members have approximately $112,000 in funding to recommend for allocation to a variety of on-the-ground watershed, road, trail, forest health, noxious weed treatments, habitat improvement and/or other projects that benefit National Forest System lands.

Funding and administration for the Central Montana RAC is provided under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act (Title II), of which Congress most recently reauthorized and through the 2014 Farm Bill. In general, the law directs that funds be spent on projects that accomplish one or more of the following objectives: 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.

RAC-recommended projects are designed for on-the-ground projects that provide benefits to National Forest System lands. Along with the legal requirements on project eligibility, the Central Montana RAC favors 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.

Projects may occur on other land jurisdictions; however, the project must qualify under an array of Federal environmental laws and demonstrate a strong benefit to National Forest System lands in those counties. For more information, call Dave at (406) 791-7754.

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