U.S. Forest Service Seeks Applicants for Recreation Advisory Committee

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

PINEVILLE –  The U.S. Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill 11 positions on a new Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee for national forests across the Southeast. The committee will take on the important task of recommending whether forests in 13 southern states and Puerto Rico adopt new recreation fees or change existing fees. 

     The recreation fee structure in Kisatchie National Forest has been in place for many years. Recreation fees may be charged on some recreation facilities such as camp grounds, trails, day-use areas and boat ramps. 95% of all recreation fees collected are returned to the Kisatchie National Forest to maintain and enhance the recreation sites.

Potential nominees must represent the following forest-related interests:

  • Recreational uses including: camping, motorized recreation, non-motorized recreation, wildlife and nature viewing/visiting interpretive sites, hunting and fishing;
  • Environmental groups;
  • Outfitters and guides;
  • State tourism interests;
  • American Indian tribes; and
  • Local government interests

Members will be appointed for two or three-year terms based on the following criteria:

  • Which interest groups they represent and how well they are qualified to represent that group.
  • Why they want to serve on the committee and what they can contribute.
  • Their past experience in working successfully as part of a collaborative group.

     Nominees’ demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women and persons with disabilities will be considered in membership selections. U.S. Department of Agriculture policies regarding equal opportunity will be followed. 

     Committee members will receive travel and per diem expenses for regularly scheduled meetings; however, they will not receive compensation.

     The committee’s jurisdiction will cover the national forests in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico.

     More information is available athttp://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/recreation/racsor by contacting Caroline Mitchell at (501) 321-5318 or r8_rrac@fs.fed.us. Completed nomination forms are due by Dec. 31, 2015to: Recreation RAC Nomination, P.O. Box 1270, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 79102.