Apply to a RAC

in Oregon or Washington

San Juan Islands National Monument members having a discussion near water's edge

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Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) were established by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1739), as citizen advisory groups to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These citizen-based groups provide an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a voice in the management of America's public lands, and to help improve their health and productivity. RAC recommendations address all public land issues, including: land use planning, recreation, noxious weeds, and wild horse and burro herd management areas, to name just a few.

Members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to serve 3-year terms and may be re-appointed. Each RAC 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. An individual may not serve concurrently on more than one RAC. Council members must reside in the states within the geographic jurisdiction of the RAC.

RAC members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses at current rates for government employees. To be eligible for appointment to a RAC, a person must be qualified through education, training, knowledge, or experience. A RAC generally meets two-to-four times annually, or as needed to accomplish RAC business.

RAC members are generally expected to do the following:

  • Attend meetings and field trips that have been scheduled in advance and participate in public discussion of issues during the meeting.
  • Provide advice to the BLM officials on an informal basis, regarding issues that arise between formal meetings.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of issues affecting the RAC's geographic area.
  • Provide BLM officials with opinions and advice that represents the point-of-view of the category represented by the RAC member, the member's experience and knowledge about the issue, and their reflection on data presented to the RAC by the public, BLM staff, or other sources.
  • Provide feedback from the RAC meetings and interaction with the BLM staff and managers to specific interest groups. Provide the BLM with input and overview from interest groups.

The RACs have been successful in bringing diverse and often competing interests to the table to deal with matters of mutual concern. This inclusive approach has shown great promise as a means to successfully deal with long-standing issues of public land management. The RACs have demonstrated that consensus-driven recommendations often lead to sustainable outcomes that benefit natural resources and often enjoy a high level of public support.