Bob Abbey: Even if you’ve never set foot on your public lands, you’ve seen them featured in countless commercials and movies, old and new. There’s no movie set in Hollywood that could equal the spectacular and rugged settings that public lands provide for everyone’s next great outdoor adventure.
Hi! My name is Bob Abbey. I’m the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, a Bureau under the U.S. Department of the Interior, and ultimately responsible for the management of more than 245 million acres of America’s National System of Public Lands scattered throughout the country.
Millions of Americans live and work near BLM-managed lands – millions more spend their free time playing on them – hiking; rock climbing, fishing, even gold panning; and thousands of miles of trails exist for mountain bikers and off-road enthusiasts. That’s why we need your help. “How” you ask?
I’d like you to consider serving on one of the 43 citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils, or RACs as we call them. It’s a forum where local citizens provide advice to BLM managers and the Secretary of the Interior on diverse public land issues such as energy development, grazing, and recreational use.
RACs consist of 15 people from diverse backgrounds. As a RAC member, you’ll attend about four meetings a year where you’ll may be asked to address issues For example: wild and scenic rivers, prehistoric fossils, historic sites, wilderness, coal or uranium mining, and wild horses.
It’s a pretty big deal, but don’t just take it from me – hear what RAC member April Sall from the California Desert District Advisory Council has to say.
April Sall: I can tell you that the BLM’s use of the RACs over the last 15 years has been a win-win for everyone. There are opposite interests seated at the table and the conversations are both frustrating and enlightening. We operate on the principle of collaboration and consensus and the input we give back to the BLM is both sound and balanced. As a BLM RAC member, I am a direct voice to the BLM as well as to the Secretary [of the Interior]. But just as important, I can keep citizens informed with accurate information about land use issues on our public lands. If you want to effect change and instill hope in your country’s natural resources, become involved in the stewardship and join and apply to a RAC today.
Bob Abbey: BLM managers can only make the best decisions after gathering important input from our interested publics – this is your chance to be a part of our RACs and another important way to bring about change.
I encourage you to lead the way and let your one voice, representing many, be heard. Take that first step by applying to become a member of the BLM’s Resource Advisory Council in your state. Find out more at www.blm.gov. Thanks for listening.