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Montana State Office
Release Date: 11/10/11
Contacts: Mary Apple 406-896-5258    

Secretary Salazar Announces New Appointments to BLM Resource Advisory Councils

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced new appointments or reappointments of 16 members to Montana’s three citizen-based resource advisory councils (RACs), which advise the Bureau of Land Management on public land issues. The RACs are composed of members with diverse interests and backgrounds.

“I want to welcome our new RAC members and commend them for their commitment to public service,” said Secretary Salazar. “Their counsel will serve the BLM well as the agency carries out its multiple-use mission.”

The RACs, composed of citizens chosen for their expertise in natural resource issues, help the BLM carry out its stewardship of 245 million acres--the largest land portfolio of any federal agency. The BLM has established 29 RACs across the West, where most BLM-managed land is located. Each RAC consists of 10 to 15 members with an interest in public land management, such as conservationists, outdoor recreationists, ranchers, tribal officials, state and local government officials, academics, and others.

BLM Director Bob Abbey said, “The diverse membership of RACs results in a balanced outlook that the BLM needs in managing the public lands for current and future generations.” The BLM, an agency of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for managing various uses of the land--such as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production--while conserving the land’s natural, historical, and cultural resources.

 “I’m looking forward to working with the Montana RACs and hearing the members’ perspectives on the various issues,” said Montana/Dakotas State Director Jamie Connell. “And I’m grateful to all the RAC members who devote their time to assist us in public land management.”

Below are the newly appointed and reappointed members of Montana’s RACs and the date and place of their next meeting.
Western Montana RAC (January 18, 2012, Butte)
Koy Holland (grazing) new
Michael Connors (dispersed recreation) new
Paul Putz (archaeologic and historic interests) new
Martin Balukas (public-at-large) new
David Kirsch (elected official) new
Whitney Tilt (public-at-large) new
Central Montana RAC (December 6-7, 2011, Lewistown)
Dana Darlington (grazing) new
Dan Kluck (grazing) new
Jason Birdwell (dispersed recreation) new
Ron Poertner (public-at-large) reappointment
Clive Rooney (state agency representative) new
Eastern Montana RAC (December 7, 2011, Miles City)
Thomas Hohn (energy) reappointment
Douglas Kary (outdoor recreation) reappointment
Ernest Strum (dispersed recreation) reappointment
Calvin Cumin (public-at-large) new
Lance Kalfell (public-at-large) reappointment

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Montana State Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, MT 59101   

Last updated: 06-28-2012