Two new advisory committees for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will hold their first meetings in January.
The South Gifford Pinchot RAC, with members from Klickitat and Skamania counties, will meet on Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the courthouse annex in Stevenson.
The North Gifford Pinchot RAC will meet on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the courthouse annex in Chehalis.
The agenda for both RACs will include: introduction of members, overview of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, committee roles and responsibilities, RAC rules and bylaws, review of the RAC guidebook, future meetings and agendas, and project process for submission.
Clair Lavendel, forest supervisor, described the RACs as "an exciting partnership between the Forest Service and counties that will benefit watersheds, rural communities, and forest ecosystems."
Cowlitz, Klickitat and Skamania counties, which make up the South Gifford Pinchot RAC, and Lewis County, which makes up the North RAC, will receive a total of $16.2 million this year for schools, county roads and projects.
County commissioners from these counties have set aside $1,375,224 from the total for RAC projects in 2002 that will benefit trails, roads, forest health, watershed, and fish and wildlife habitat on or adjacent to forest lands.
Fifteen members, representing a wide array of interests, will serve on each RAC. Klickitat or Skamania county residents on the South RAC include: Dan Frey, Lyle; David L'Hommedieu, Stevenson; Terry Horn, Stevenson; Judith Maule, White Salmon; Bill Bentley, Stevenson; Arlene Johnson, Carson; and Albert McKee, Stevenson.