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Eastern Montana/Dakotas District
Release Date: 01/24/14

BLM announces Dakotas RAC appointments

MILES CITY, Mont. --- Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has announced new appointments to the Bureau of Land Management citizen-based Dakotas Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land issues.


“The Resource Advisory Councils provide invaluable management advice and expertise to the BLM in Montana and the Dakotas,” said BLM State Director Jamie Connell. “I’m happy to welcome our new members. I want to thank them for their commitment and service, and I look forward to their ideas and input as we strive toward reaching the common goal of effective, multiple-use land management across our region.”


The RACs, composed of citizens chosen for their expertise in natural resource issues, help the BLM carry out its nation-wide stewardship of 245 million acres – the largest land portfolio of any federal agency. The BLM has established 28 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.


“I am excited about the new RAC appointees, and we will work hard to provide them with the background and information they need to become familiar with current and ongoing BLM issues,” said District Manager Diane Friez, who is also the Dakota RAC’s Designated Federal Officer. “The new members, combined with the existing members, bring a wide range of expertise to the table and we are very appreciative of the time they dedicate to advise the BLM.”


The BLM, an agency of the Interior Department, is responsible for managing these various uses – such as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production – while conserving the land’s natural, historical, and cultural resources. The RACs are composed of members with diverse interests and backgrounds.


Below are the newly appointed members of the Dakotas RAC:


·  Ray Gilbert, Buffalo, S.D. (federal grazing)

·  Vern Timmerman, Salem, S.D. (energy/minerals)

·  Branden Bestgen, Sturgis, S.D. (dispersed recreation)

·  Debra Brown, Buffalo, S.D. (elected official)

·  Robert Johnson, Buffalo, S.D. (elected official)

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.

Eastern Montana/Dakotas District   111 Garryowen Road      Miles City, MT 59301  

Last updated: 01-27-2014