Umatilla National Forest accepting proposals for Title II funding

Umatilla National Forest accepting proposals for Title II funding

Proposals for natural resource projects to benefit the Umatilla National Forest are now being accepted for review by the Columbia County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The total amount of Title II funds available for distribution is $35,000.

Project proposals must be entered online at http://tinyurl.com/z8zonfd by the project applicant. Use “Columbia Co, WA” as the Resource Advisory Committee name. Please include any needed maps or attachments. To view examples of prior project proposals visit http://tinyurl.com/l8euyqr. Project proposals are due by June 9, 2017.

The RAC is made of citizens representing a variety of natural resource-based interests who were selected by the Secretary of Agriculture to advise the Forest Service on the use of funds allocated to Columbia County through the Reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, also called “Payments to States” Act. RAC members will review proposed land management projects on or adjacent to national forest lands in Columbia County in Washington State. The RAC then makes recommendations to the Forest Service in accordance with the Act on which projects should be funded.

Non-profit and youth-based organizations, state and county governments, academic, and private enterprises are encouraged to propose projects. Natural resource agencies may also submit project proposals. Eligible projects include:

— Restoring or maintaining watersheds

— Restoring fish or wildlife habitat

— Removing noxious weeds

— Maintaining or decommissioning roads and trails

— Bridge rehabilitation

— Re-establishing native species

— Reducing hazardous fuels

Individuals and groups interested in submitting projects are encouraged to discuss their proposals with a Forest Service representative prior to submitting their application.

Members of the Columbia County RAC will meet on June 26 in Dayton, WA to review the proposed Title II projects for the Umatilla National Forest. The open public meeting will be held at 111 Patit Rd., Dayton, WA from 6-9 p.m. The meeting will focus on general business and reviewing and recommending project proposals that meet the intent of the Payments to States Act. Objectives of the proposed projects are to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat; improve the maintenance of existing Forest Service infrastructure; protect and enhance ecosystems on the national forests; and restore and improve land health and water quality.

Members of the public wishing to provide comment to the committee during the meeting should submit a request in writing, no later than June 19, 2017. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Mike Rassbach, RAC Designated Federal Official, USDA Umatilla National Forest, Walla Walla Ranger District, 1415 West Rose Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362; by email to mrassbach@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 509-522-6000.