Northern California District RAC members take to the water in the Redding Field Office's Sacramento River Bend Area of Critical Environmental Concern to discuss management issues along 17 miles of public land river access, California, BLM Photo

About Advisory Councils

The BLM maintains chartered advisory councils primarily located in the West. These include statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils (RACs), advisory committees affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, and the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

RACs and advisory committees are sounding boards for BLM initiatives, regulatory proposals, and policy changes. Each citizen-based council generally consists of 10 to 15 members from diverse interests in local communities, including ranchers, environmental groups, tribes, state and local government officials, academics, and other public land users.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) established the RACs in 1995. RAC and advisory committee members vote on recommendations related to public land management and provide those recommendations to the designated Federal official who serves as the BLM’s liaison. The Designated Federal Officer is usually a BLM line manager, such as the state director or district manager.

Each RAC and advisory committee have a charter that outlines membership and how the panel operates. Councils RACs and other advisory committees will generally meet two to four times per year. The BLM determines the meeting location and which issues will be discussed and announces upcoming meetings in the Federal Register and media outlets. Any organization, association, or member of the public may file a statement or comment at meetings regarding topics on the agenda. Meetings may also include a field trip to learn more about certain resource issues. The BLM reimburses RAC and advisory committee members for their allowable travel expenses.

Each member assists in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues. These include land use planning, fire management, off-highway vehicle use, recreation, oil and gas exploration, noxious weed management, grazing issues, wild horse and burro herd management issues, and so on.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act authorizes the establishment of BLM RACs, and various other statutes that require the establishment of advisory committees affiliated with specific geographic areas (for example, National Conservation Lands sites). See 43 CFR1784 for additional information.

Recreation RACs

The Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture also manage a public advisory committee structure that provides recommendations concerning recreation fee proposals for public lands managed by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service. Learn more about Recreation RACs.