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New Mexico Resource Advisory Council


Charter

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
RESOURCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

CHARTER

1. OFFICIAL DESIGNATION: New Mexico Resource Advisory Council.

2. COUNCIL OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE: Provide counsel and advice to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concerning planning and management of the public lands within the State of New Mexico.

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, unless otherwise noted, is as follows:

New Mexico State Director
Bureau of Land Management
1474 Rodeo Road
P.O. Box 27115
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-0115

5. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: Administrative support for activities of the Council will be provided by the office of the DFO.

6. DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL: Council duties and responsibilities are advisory only and are generally to:

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. Among these responsibilities are gathering and analyzing information, conducting studies and field examinations, and hearing public testimony;

b. Advise the BLM in implementing standards for ecological health and sustainability and guidelines for resource uses;

c. Advise the BLM in identifying the geographic area to which standards and guidelines apply;

d. Advise the BLM in promoting Federal, State, and local cooperation in the management of natural resources on public lands, and coordinating development of resource management plans and activities with other States; and

e. 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 Federal funds or on personnel actions.

7. COUNCIL COMPOSITION:

a. Council members 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 REPRESENTING:

(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, or water;

(iii) represent Indian tribes within or adjacent to the Council's jurisdiction;

(iv) are employed as academicians in natural resource management or the natural sciences; or

(v) represent the public-at-large.

b. The Council will be comprised of 15 members divided equally among the three general categories of interest groups as specified in paragraph 7a. of this charter.

c. Council Chairmanship will be as follows:

- the Governor or the Governor's representative shall serve as the honorary chairperson of Council meetings consistent with the provisions of FACA.

- the Governor or the Governor's representative shall not be a member of the Council and shall not vote on matters before the Council.

- consistent with FACA, the DFO will chair the Council when the Chairperson cannot participate in meetings.

d. In appointing members from the three groups, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall provide for a balanced and broad representation within each category.

e. 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. 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 New Mexico. The BLM will consider nominations for Council membership from local government, organizations, and individuals. Council nominees must be supported by letters of recommendation from the groups or interests the nominees will represent.

b. Council members will be appointed to serve 3-year terms, on a staggered term basis, with
one-third of the Council members subject to appointment or reappointment each year. Furthermore, appointments will be made to assure balanced representation from each interest group specified in paragraph 7a. of this charter.

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 memberís departure from elected office. The Secretary will replace the member who leaves office by filling the vacancy using the same method by which 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 or the DFO may, after written notice, terminate the service of a member if, in the judgment of the Secretary or DFO, 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 his or her 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 memberís 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. Written notification will occur following the second consecutive missed meeting with a warning of termination if the member fails to attend the next meeting.

e. Vacancies occurring for any reason, including 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 for the position vacated for the balance of the vacating member's term in the same manner as the initial appointment. Such vacancies will be immediately reported to the DFO.

f. At the discretion of the Secretary, Council members may be reappointed to additional terms.

g. A Council member may not serve concurrently on more than one Council. Council members may serve concurrently on a Council subgroup, e.g., Rangeland Resource Team (RRT).

h. Council members shall be required to complete a course of instruction in the management of rangeland ecosystems and other appropriate and applicable topics approved by the BLM New Mexico State Director.

i. 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. The Governor or his representative may not be reimbursed for travel or per diem since he is not a member of the Council.

9. ETHICS RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS:

a. A member may not participate in matters that will directly affect, or appear to affect, the financial interests of the member or the memberís spouse or minor children. Compensation from employment does not constitute a financial interest of the member so long as the matter before the New Mexico Resource Advisory Council will not have a special or distinct effect on the member or the memberís employer, other than as part of a class. The provisions of this paragraph do not affect any other statutory or regulatory ethical obligations to which a member may be subject, including those in b., below.

b. As provided in 43 CFR Sec. 1784.2-2, members of the Council 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 or subcommittee member shall participate in any matter in which the member has a direct interest.


10. SUBGROUPS:

a. Specific subgroup requirements include:

(i) Members of Council subgroups must reside in the State of New Mexico;

(ii) All members of Council subgroups serve without salary. Only members of
subgroups who are also members of the Council may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses when on Council (subgroup) business; 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.


b. The Council may form RRTs down to a 4th order watershed level. These RRTs make
recommendations to the Council. The RRTs meet at least quarterly to advise the Council regarding BLM's efforts to:

(i) promote a decentralized administrative approach;

(ii) encourage good stewardship;

(iii) emphasize coordination and cooperation among agencies, permittees, and the interested public;

(iv) develop proposed solutions and management plans for local resources on public land;

(v) promote renewable rangeland resource values;

(vi) develop proposed standards to address sustainable resource uses and rangeland health;

(vii) address renewable rangeland resource values;

(viii) propose and participate in the development of area-specific National Environmental
Policy Act documents; and

(ix) develop range and wildlife education and training programs.

The RRTs will not exceed 10 members and will include at least 2 persons from environmental
or wildlife groups, 2 grazing permittees, 1 elected official, 1 New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Area representative, 1 New Mexico Range Improvement Task Force representative, 2 members of the public or other interest groups, and 1 Federal officer from the BLM. Members will be appointed for 2-year terms by the Council and may be reappointed. No Council or subgroup member may serve concurrently on more than one RRT. To forward a recommendation to the Council requires at least an 80 percent affirmative vote of the RRT. Input from RRTs will be presented directly to the Council for its deliberation and review.


11. TECHNICAL REVIEW TEAMS: Technical Review Teams (TRTs) will be established at the option of the BLM. The Council or RRT may request the establishment of a TRT. Membership is determined by BLM and limited to Federal employees and federally paid consultants. TRTs shall be limited to discrete tasks assigned by the DFO.

12. 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 subgroups, except TRTs which are formed by BLM, will be appointed by the Council members with the concurrence of the DFO. The DFO retains all authorities and responsibilities provided for under FACA.

13. MEETINGS:

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 field examinations, will be open to the general public and representatives of the news media. Any organization, association, or individual may file a statement or appear before the Council or the Council subgroup 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-day notice, not less than a 15-day notice will suffice. The notice shall set forth the purpose, time, and place of the meeting. If it becomes necessary to postpone or cancel a meeting, a notice will be published in the Federal Register and distributed to the local news media 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 in no case less than 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:

At least 12 members must be present to constitute a quorum. To refer an issue to the DFO requires an affirmative vote of at least 12 members.

Formal recommendations shall require agreement of at least a majority of each of the three categories of interest from which appointments are made. Unanimous agreement of all Council members will be needed to forward a request to the Secretary as provided for under 43 CFR Sec. 1784.6-1(i).

14. COUNCIL RECORDS: Detailed minutes of each Council meeting will be kept and will contain a record of attendance, 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.


15. ESTIMATED OPERATING COSTS: Annual activities of the Council will require an estimated $50,000, including 6 Federal work months.

16. EXPIRATION DATE: The Councilís charter will expire 2 years from the date the charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is rechartered by the Secretary in 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.

17. AUTHORITY: Section 309 of FLPMA, as amended, 43 U.S.C. 1739.


/s/ Gale A. Norton
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Date Signed: Sept. 30, 2005


Sept. 30, 2005
Date Charter Filed

 

Please contact the New Mexico RAC Coordinator for further information.


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