Your lands. your treasure. get involved. | TSLN.com

Your lands. your treasure. get involved.

Jamie E. Connell
State Director, BLM Montana/Dakotas

Nationwide, the BLM administers more land – over 245 million acres – than any other federal agency. The Montana/Dakotas organization manages about 8.3 million of those acres and about 47.1 million acres of federal mineral estate. Natural and cultural resources found on these lands provide a wealth of opportunities for such activities as camping, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, shooting, fishing, and bird watching. Through activities such as oil and gas production, mining, logging, grazing and outfitting, these public lands also help provide the energy resources that power our nation, generate jobs for American workers and stimulate rural economies. In FY 2013, BLM's management activities in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota supported an estimated 32,253 jobs and contributed more than $8.63 billion to these states' economies.

You can play a role in this. On Feb. 3, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management published in the Federal Register a call for nominations to those interested in serving on one of our many citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils (RAC). These committees, whose members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, provide an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a voice in the management of public lands.

Established through the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-463), the BLM's RACs provide land managers representative counsel in such interest categories as grazing, rights-of-way, outdoor recreation and associated fees, energy and mineral development, archaeological and historical resources, wild horses, and public-at-large.

We need you to get involved. Representing your stakeholders will help local land managers make effective decisions that drive local, on-the-ground management of the natural and cultural resources entrusted to us. We'll ask you to serve a 3-year term and attend two to four meetings a year in your region. You'll serve without salary but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses at the current government rate. To learn more about serving as a BLM RAC member, please visit our website at: http://blm.gov/xpld. You'll also find there a link to the nomination form you'll need for your application, which is due by March 20.

Operating on the principle of collaborative decision making while striving for consensus, the BLM's RACs have been successful in bringing diverse and often competing interests to the table to deal with issues of mutual concern. Through the years, recommendations brought forth by BLM RACs have often enjoyed a high level of public support and led to sustainable outcomes that ultimately benefit the natural and cultural resources the BLM manages for America. Remember, these are – Your Lands. Your Treasure. So please, I urge you to get involved.