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Date:  December 16, 2008
Contact: Mary Apple (406) 896-5258

              Secretary Kempthorne Announces New Appointments to 
BLM Dakotas Resource Advisory Council 

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently announced the appointment of two new and four reappointed members to the Dakotas citizen-based Resource Advisory Council (RAC), which advises the Bureau of Land Management on public land issues.

“The BLM’s Resource Advisory Councils are excellent examples of a collaborative approach to public land management and conservation,” said Secretary Kempthorne. “I welcome our new and reappointed RAC members, commend them for their willingness to serve, and look forward to their counsel as we work together to improve the health and productivity of the public lands.”

The BLM’s RACs, composed of citizens chosen for their expertise in natural resource issues, help the Bureau carry out its stewardship of 258 million acres of public lands. The Bureau, which manages more land than any other federal agency, has 24 RACs across the West, where most BLM-managed land is located. Each RAC consists of 12 to 15 members with an interest in public land management, such as ranchers, conservationists, outdoor recreationists, tribal officials, state and local government officials, academics, and others.

BLM Director Jim Caswell said, “RAC members come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wide range of perspectives to each of our councils. This diversity results in a balanced outlook that the BLM needs for its mission, which is to manage the public lands for multiple uses.

The BLM, an agency of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for managing these various uses – such as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production – while conserving the land’s natural, historical, and cultural resources.

Below are the newly appointed members and the interests they represent. Information about upcoming RAC meetings will be announced as soon as it becomes available.

  • Eric Hunt-SD (off-highway vehicles) reappointment
  • Gerald Schlekeway-SD (environmental) reappointment
  • Stanley Kohn-ND (environmental) reappointment
  • Bill Bowman-ND (elected official) reappointment
  • Tom Cooper-SD (public-at-large) new
  • Eric Davis-SD (environmental) new