Representatives for public land use sought by BLM

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People with interests in Northwest Colorado public lands have an opportunity to present their 2 cents over the next three years.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking nominations to fill six open spots on the Northwest Resource Advisory Council (RAC). Each year one third of the 15 positions on the board have to be filled.

The committee was established in 1995 to provide the BLM with advice and recommendations on use and management of 2.5 million acres of public lands in Northwest Colorado.

There are three RAC councils established in Colorado representing the northwest, southwest and Front Range regions of the state. The BLM believes councils allow citizens to have a meaningful say in how their public lands are managed. Members of the board give advice on resource, social and economic issues that confront land managers and local communities.

"Colorado's RACs have been a great success," said Mark Stiles, BLM acting Northwest Center manager. "They are a good example that we here in Colorado can come together to resolve important grazing, recreation and other public land issues. There's a lot more that can be accomplished and I am looking forward to working with the council members in the future."

The BLM is seeking members who are committed to working together with other interests for the long-term benefit of public lands and the people who enjoy and rely on them. The Northwest RAC has members that represent the three general interest groups including:

Holders of federal grazing permits or leases, representatives of mining, timber, off-road vehicle groups and commercial recreation. There are two openings for people who fit these qualifications.

Representatives of recognized environmental or resource conservation organizations, archeological and historical interests, wild horses and burro groups. There are two openings for these qualifications.

State, county or local elected officials; employees of state agencies responsible for natural resources, land or water; representatives of Indian tribes; academicians involved in natural sciences; and the public at-large. There are two openings for people who fit these qualifications.

"I am hoping to get quite a few nominations from qualified people who are interested in becoming an advisory council member," said Stiles. "The key to keeping the momentum going and ensuring that the Northwest RAC continues to provide BLM with useful and timely advice is having motivated, qualified and respected people on the council."

Council members must be residents of Northwest Colorado. Terms are for three years.

The BLM will provide training on resource science and management issues to all council members. Members serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for travel expenses.

Meetings are generally scheduled every other month, but may be every month if needed. Locations of the meetings vary throughout Northwest Colorado.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Nominations will be accepted until April 20.

The BLM and the governor will work together before sending recommendations to the secretary of the interior for a final decision on appointments.

Nomination forms and more information is available through the BLM office in Craig or call 826-5096.

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