Senators say committees are essential for natural resources work in national forests
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and James Risch (R-ID) today urged federal officials to reauthorize citizen committees that provide key advice for important natural resources work in national forests.
The senators’ bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue seeks prompt reauthorization of the national Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) charter under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS).
“Reauthorizing the national charter will enable 114 RACs across the country in primarily rural areas to engage with local citizens in the responsible distribution of approximately $40 million in title II SRS funds, directly supporting jobs and important natural resources work on America’s national forests,” the senators wrote.
“We are concerned that an ongoing delay in reauthorization could jeopardize the organization of RACs and consequently hinder distribution of these funds to local, rural communities,”they wrote.
SRS was first introduced in 2000 to assist counties containing tracts of federally-owned land that is tax-exempt.