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Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) Bureau of Land Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) Bureau of Land Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) Bureau of Land Management

2 FACA-Chartered Committees In 1972, Congress passed the Federal Advisory Committee Act in order to establish uniform standards and procedures for groups advising the Federal government. Established procedures for tracking costs and materials associated with managing FACA-Chartered Committees. Established rules regarding open meetings, public notice of meetings, availability of minutes for meetings, and other transparency-related matters.

3 Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) The BLM’s organic legislation, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), established many of the BLM’s 43 RACs. Others RACs were created through Congressional action (such as this Committee, the Steens Mountain Advisory Council).

4 Resource Advisory Councils (RACs)

5 General Structure: Consist of local residents who represent a variety of backgrounds but who share an interest in the public lands. Usually: Commercial/commodity interests; Environmental/historical groups (including wild horse and burro and dispersed recreation); and State and local government, Indian tribes, and the public at large Provide advice and recommendations regarding BLM land and resource management to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). Resource Advisory Councils (RACs)

6 The Rio Grande Natural Area Act stipulates that the following organizations will hold seats on the Commission: Colorado State Director of the BLM Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife Colorado Division of Water Resources Rio Grande Water Conservation District 4 members shall represent the general public Citizens of the local region Have knowledge and experience in the fields of interest relating to the preservation and restoration, and use of the Natural Area. Advise the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Natural Area. Resource Advisory Councils (RACs)

7 Rio Grande Natural Area Act & Commission An Overview

8 The Rio Grande Natural Area Act Signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 12, Public Law ; 16 USC 460rrr. Establishes: o The Rio Grande Natural Area o The Rio Grande Natural Area Commission Purpose: o Conserve, Restore, and Protect o Natural, Historic, Cultural, Scientific, Scenic, Wildlife, and Recreational resources of the Natural Area.

9 The Rio Grande Natural Area The Natural Area includes the Rio Grande from the southern boundary of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge to the New Mexico State Border, extending ¼ of a mile on either side of the bank of the river miles of river 5,900 acres of private land (68% of Natural Area) 2,900 acres of public land (32% of Natural Area) Approximately:

10 Rio Grande Natural Area Act: What it is. “There is established the Rio Grande Natural Area in the State of Colorado to conserve, restore, and protect the natural, historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources of the Natural Area.”

11 Rio Grande Natural Area Act: What it is Not. The Act Does Not : o Amend, modify, or conflict with the Rio Grande Compact of 1939; o Authorize the regulation of private land; o Authorize the imposition of any mandatory streamflow requirements; o Create an expressed or implied Federal reserved water right.

12 The Rio Grande Natural Area Commission Prepare a Management Plan relating to non-Federal land in the Natural Area Advise the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Natural Area The Commission shall:

13 Will take into consideration the Federal, state, and local plans in existence on the date of enactment of the Act to present a unified preservation, restoration, and conservation plan for the Natural Area. A Management Plan for Non-Federal Lands

14 The non-Federal Plan will include: An inventory of the resources contained in the Natural Area, including a list of property in the Natural Area that should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, maintained, or acquired to further the purposes of the Natural Area; Recommendations for policies for resource management, including the use of intergovernmental cooperative agreements to protect the resources of the Natural Area and provide for the solitude, quiet use, and pristine natural values of the Natural Area. A Management Plan for Non-Federal Lands

15 Implementing the RGNA Commission’s Plan for non- Federal Land Assist the State of Colorado in preserving State land and wildlife within the Natural Area; Assist the State of Colorado and political subdivisions of the State in increasing public awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural, historic, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources in the Natural Area; Encourage political subdivisions of the State of Colorado to adopt and implement land use policies that are consistent with the management of the Natural Area and the management plan; Encourage and assist private landowners in the Natural Area in the implementation of the management plan. The Commission shall assist the Secretary in implementing the management plan by carrying out the following activities to preserve and interpret the natural, historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources of the Natural Area.

16 Powers of the Rio Grande Natural Area Commission Hold Hearings Enter Cooperative Agreements o with State of Colorado or political subdivisions of the state, or any person that may affect the implementation of the non- Federal management plan However, the Commission is specifically barred from acquiring real property or interests in real property

17 The Rio Grande Natural Area Commission Charter & Standard Operating Procedures

18 Duties of the Commission 1.Provide advice to the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Natural Area. 2.Prepare a management plan for the non-Federal land within the Natural Area. 3.Submit the management plan to the Secretary for approval or disapproval. *The Secretary and the Commission shall cooperate to ensure that the management plans relating to the management of the Federal and non-Federal lands are consistent.*

19 Designated Federal Officer (DFO) The committee reports to the Secretary of the Interior through the DFO. The DFO is the BLM Front Range District Manager, Greg Shoop. This position will be delegated to the local BLM field manager in the San Luis Valley Public Lands Center.

20 Responsibilities of the DFO Call, attend, and adjourn committee meetings; Approve agendas; Maintain required records on costs and membership; Ensure efficient operations and adherence to FACA and other applicable laws; Maintain records for availability to the public; and Provide copies of committee reports to the Committee Management Officer for forwarding to the Library of Congress.

21 Ethics – No Commission or subcommittee member shall participate in any specific party matter including a lease, license, permit, contract, claim, agreement, or related litigation with the Department in which the member has a direct financial interest. Members are required to disclose their direct or indirect interest in leases, licenses, permits, contracts, or claims that involve lands or resources administered by the BLM, or in any litigation related thereto. Responsibilities of the Commissioners

22 The term of each member of the commission is 5 years. Members can be terminated if they no longer meet the requirements under which they were appointed. If a member fails to participate regularly in Commission work, the DFO will inform the member in writing that his or her service could be terminated.

23 Electing a Chairperson The chairperson works with the DFO to establish priorities, identify issues to be addressed, determine the level and types of staff and financial support required, and serves as the focal point for the Commission’s membership. The FACA stipulates that the Commission will elect its chair and vice-chair annually. The chairperson will appoint members of subcommittees with the concurrence of the DFO.

24 Subcommittees Subcommittees can be formed for the purposes of compiling information or conducting research. Minutes and Notes of subcommittee meetings are public. Meetings of the subcommittee do not need to be noticed in the Federal Register. Must report directly to the full Committee; cannot provide advice or work to the agency or DFO.


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