RESOURCE ADVISORY COUNCIL
1. OFFICIAL DESIGNATION: Dakotas Resource Advisory Council.
2. COUNCIL OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE: The geographic jurisdiction of the Council shall coincide with the North and South Dakota Field Office administrative boundaries. The Council will provide advice to the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the preparation, amendment and implementation of land use plans. The Council will also assist in establishing other long-range plans and resource man agement priorities in an advisory capacity, including providing advice on the development of plans for range improvement or development programs. The Council will assist in Federal, State and local cooperation, encourage good stewardship, and emphasize coordination and cooperation among agencies, permittees and interested parties in the management of natural resources on public lands. The Council will also assist the BLM to coordinate the development of sound resource management plans and activities with other States. The Council will provide an opportunity for meaningful public participation in developing advice relating to land management issues at the field office level.
3. PERIOD OF TIME NECESSARY FOR THE COUNCIL'S ACTIVITIES: The need for the Council is expected to continue indefinitely. Council continuation will be subject to periodic review and rechartering every 2 years as required by Section 14(b) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix.
4. OFFICIAL TO WHOM THE COUNCIL REPORTS: The Designated Federal Officer (DFO) to whom the Council reports is the BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director, or his/her representative Field Manager:
BLM North Dakota Field Manager
5. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: Administrative support for activities of the Council will be provided by the North Dakota Field Office.
6. DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL: In an advisory capacity to the BLM, Council duties and responsibilities are generally as follows:
a. Develop recommendations for the BLM regarding the preparation, amendment, and implementation of land use plans for the public lands and resources within the jurisdiction of the Council. This may require the Council to gather and analyze information, conduct studies and field examinations, and hear public testimony.
b. Except for the purpose of long-range planning and the establishment of resource management priorities, the Council shall not provide advice on the allocation and expenditure of funds or on personnel actions.
c. Advise the BLM in implementing standards for ecological health and sustainability and establishing guidelines for resource uses.
d. Advise the BLM in identifying the geographic area to which standards and guidelines apply.
e. Advise the BLM in developing recommendations for implementation of ecosystem approaches to management. Assist the BLM in establishing landscape goals and objectives.
f. Advise the BLM regarding working with local groups to develop and achieve resource management programs.
g. Recommend future Council model(s) and jurisdiction(s) that would best serve North and South Dakota.
7. COUNCIL COMPOSITION:
a. Council members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and shall be representative of the interests of the following three general groups:
GROUP 1 - PERSONS WHO:
(i) hold Federal grazing permits or leases within the area for which the Council is organized;
(ii) represent interests associated with transportation or rights-of-way;
(iii) represent developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities;
(iv) represent the commercial timber industry; or
(v) represent energy and mineral development.
GROUP 2 - PERSONS REPRESENTI NG:
(i) nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations;
(ii) dispersed recreational activities;
(iii) archaeological and historical interests; or
(iv) nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups.
GROUP 3 - PERSONS WHO:
(i) hold State, county, or local elected office;
(ii) are employed by a State agency responsible for the management of natural resources, land, and water;
(iii) represent Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the Council is organized;
(iv) are employed as academicians in natural resource management or the natural sciences; or
(v) represent the public-at-large.
b. Council membership shall be 15 members, divided equally among the three interest groups as specified in paragraph 7a. of this charter.
c. In appointing Council members from the three groups, the Secretary of the Interior shall provide for a balanced and broad representation within each group. The make-up of each group should reflect the distribution of resource interests within the area represented by the Council.
d. Pursuant to Section 309(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, at least one Council member shall be an elected official of general purpose government serving the people within the jurisdiction of the Council.
8. MEMBER QUALIFICATION, SELECTION, AND SERVICE:
a. Council members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of the Interior. To be eligible for appointment to the Council, a person must be qualified through education, training, knowledge, or experience to give informed and objective advice regarding an industry, discipline, or interest specified in the Council's charter; have demonstrated experience or knowledge of the geographical area under the purview of the Council; and have demonstrated a commitment to collaborate in seeking solutions to a wide spectrum of resource management issues. Council members must be residents of North or South Dakota and be supported by letters of recommendation from the groups or interests they will represent.
b. Council members will be appointed to serve 3-year terms, on a staggered term basis, with as near as possible to one-third of the Council subject to appointment or reappointment each year.
c. The term of a Council member who has been appointed on the basis of his or her status as an elected official will end upon the member's departure from elective office. The Secretary of the Interior will replace the member who leaves office by filling the vacancy in the same manner as the original appointment was made. However, at the Secretary's discretion, the member may be permitted to complete the same term in another vacant position on the Council, provided that the member is qualified to represent one of the other interests within the three groups listed in paragraph 7a. of this charter.
d. The Secretary may, after written notice, terminate the service of a member if, in the judgment of the Secretary or his/her authorized representative, removal is in the public interest. Members may also be terminated if they no longer meet the requirements under which they were appointed; fail or are unable to participate regularly in Council work; or have violated Federal law or the regulations of the Secretary. When a member fails to regularly attend meetings, the DFO will inform the member, in writing, that their service on the Council could be terminated. When any member fails to attend two consecutive meetings, without good cause, the DFO or his/her designee may deem that members position on the Council to have been vacated. Upon such determination, the DFO will inform the member, in writing, that his or her service on the Council is terminated.
e. Vacancies occurring for reasons such as resignation, death, changing residency by relocating outside the State(s) in which the Council is located, failure to regularly attend Council meetings, or Secretarial removal will be filled by the Secretary of the Interior for the position vacated for the balance of the vacating Council member's term in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. Such vacancies will be immediately reported to the DFO.
f. Council members may serve no more than two full terms, consecutively.
g. A person may not serve concurrently on more than one Council. Council members may serve concurrently on Council subgroups.
h. Members of Councils shall be 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. No Council member shall participate in any matter in which the member has a direct interest.
i. Council members shall be required to complete a course of instruction in the management of rangeland ecosystems and other appropriate and applicable topics that have been approved by the BLM Montana State Director.
j. Council members serve without salary, but will be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses when on Council business as authorized by Section 309 of FLPMA and 5 U.S.C. 5703.
k. Members may not participate in matters which will conflict directly, or appear to conflict, with the financial interests of the member or the member's family or business.
a. The Council may form local resource subgroups to provide local level input necessary to the successful functioning of the parent Council. Such subgroups can be formed in response to a petition from local citizens or by a motion of the Council. Membership in any subgroup formed for the purpose of providing general advice to the Council should be cons tituted in accordance with paragraph 7a. of this charter. Input by local subgroups will bepresented directly to the Council for its deliberation and consideration.
Specific subgroup requirements include:
(i) Members of Council subgroups must reside in North or South Dakota;
(ii) All members of Council subgroups serve without salary. Only members of subgroups who are also members of the parent Council may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses when on Council (subgroup) business as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5703; and
(iii) Members of Council subgroups will be 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. No subgroup member shall participate in any matter in which the member has a direct interest.
10. TECHNICAL REVIEW TEAMS (TRTs): Technical Review Teams may be formed at the option of the BLM on an as-needed-basis to gather and analyze data and develop recommendations to aid the Council. The Council may request that a TRT be formed. Members will be selected by the BLM based upon their knowledge of resource management or familiarity with the specific issues for which the TRT is formed, and will be limited to Federal employees and federally paid consultants. The TRTs will report directly to the BLM and will terminate upon completion of the assigned tasks.
11. COUNCIL OFFICERS: Pursuant to FACA, the Council will elect its own officers from among its members annually, usually at the first meeting of each calendar year. Chairpersons and members of any subgroup formed, except for TRTs, will be appointed by the Council Chairperson with the concurrence of the District Manager.
a. The Council shall meet at the call of the DFO. All meetings of the Council must be attended by the DFO. All Council and Council subgroup meetings, including fieldexaminations, will be open to the general public and representatives of the news media. Any organization, association, or individual may file a statement with or appear before the Council or the Council subgroup(s) regarding topics on the meeting agenda.
b. A notice of each meeting of the Council will normally be published in the Federal Register and distributed to the news media serving the jurisdictional area of the Council,
30 days in advance of such meeting. If urgent circumstances prevent a 30-daynotice, not less than a 15-day notice will suffice. The notice sets forth the purpose, time and place of the meeting. If it becomes necessary to postpone or cancel an announced meeting, a subsequent notice will be published in the Federal Register and distributed to the news media serving the geographic area as early as possible.
c. Council meeting agendas will be approved in advance by the DFO.
d. The Council will normally meet from two to four times annually, but at least once. Additional meetings may be called by the DFO.
e. Regular Council business activities will be conducted using standard rules of order.
f. Quorum and voting procedures: Three Council members of each interest group must be present to constitute a quorum. To refer an issue to the DFO requires agreement of at least three members from each interest group. Unanimous agreement of all members will be needed to forward a request to the Secretary of the Interior as provided for under 43 CFR
13. COUNCIL RECORDS: Detailed minutes of each Council meeting will be kept and will contain a record of the persons present; a complete and accurate description of matters discussed and conclusions reached; and copies of all documents received, issued,or approved by the Council. The accuracy of all minutes will be certified by the Council Chairperson. Copies of the minutes will be maintained in the office of the DFO,and will be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours.
14. ESTIMATED OPERATING COSTS: Annual activities of the Council will require an estimated $50,000, including 6 Federal work-months.
15. EXPIRATION DATE: The Council=s charter will expire 2 years from the date the charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is rechartered by the Secretaryin accordance with the provisions of Section 14(b) of FACA, 5 U.S.C. Appendix. The Council shall not meet or perform any functions without a valid current charter.
16. AUTHORITY: Section 309 of FLPMA, as amended, 43 U.S.C.1739.
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Date Charter Filed
Please contact the Montana RAC Coordinator for further information.