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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 RAC

The Bureau of Land Management maintains 38 chartered advisory committees located in the West.  These include 30 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils; 6 advisory committees affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands; and two others, including the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and the North Slope Science Initiative Science Technical Advisory Panel.  

RACs are sounding boards for BLM initiatives, regulatory proposals and policy changes.  Each citizen-based council 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 established the RACs in 1995.  RAC members vote on recommendations related to public land management and provide those recommendations to the designated federal official who serves as liaison to the RAC.  The DFO is usually a BLM line manager, such as the State Director or District Manager.  

Each RAC has a charter that outlines membership and how the panel operates.  

RACs and other advisory committees will generally meet two to four times per year.  They must meet at least once each 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 appear before an advisory committee regarding topics on the agenda.  Meetings may also include a field trip to learn more about certain resource issues.  The BLM reimburses advisory committee members for their allowable travel expenses.

Each advisory committee member assists in the development of committee 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 advisory committees, and various other statutes require the establishment of advisory committees affiliated with specific geographic areas (for example, National Conservation Lands sites).  See 43 CFR1784.6-1c for additional information.

Recreation RACs

DOI 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

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RAC Perspectives

"My time on the  Resource Advisory Committee has been a real learning experience. I was not aware of the wide range of responsibilities performed by the BLM. I have been particularly impressed with the people I have met who work for the BLM in varied capacities. They are dedicated, resourceful stewards of our public lands. Given their commitment to resource management, I believe our public lands are in good hands." 

-Public At Large Representative Tom Courtney, Twin Falls District RAC, currently serving in his first term