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Alaskans do a lot of complaining about “the feds” and their many seeming impositions upon us.
Frequently, the objections are tied to the United States government’s vast ownership of land in the 49th state.
Well, we have a chance to be part of the federal process regarding public land. The Bureau of Land Management in Alaska wants Alaskans to serve in five open positions on its Resource Advisory Council, a 15-member panel that advises BLM on public-land issues.
Having Alaskans on the RAC helps to ”reduce conflict, improve public understanding, and assist managers assess(ing) public attitudes on issues, land use plans, and programs,” the agency notes in an announcement seeking nominations.
“We have new resource management plans in progress and discussion with our RAC members enhances our agency’s ability to manage the public lands for multiple uses while preserving these resources for future generations to enjoy,” says Alaska State BLM Director Bud Cribley.
The slots available are for:
• One representative of state, county or local elected office; representatives and employees of a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian tribes within the RAC area; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.
• Two representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, transportation or right-of-way, off-highway vehicle use and commercial recreation.
• Two representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, and dispersed recreation activities.
The Ketchikan area has people who could qualify under any of those descriptions.
Nominations are open until March 14.
In order to apply, or be nominated, the person must be an Alaska resident. People will be chosen based on training, education and knowledge of the RAC’s geographical area. “Members are selected for their expertise and interest in natural resource issues,” according to the BLM.
Among other requirements, nominees or applicants will need to complete a background information form and provide letters of reference from represented interests or organization.
The application/nomination packet is available online at the BLM-Alaska’s website, http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/res/rac.html
The BLM manages 75 million acres of surface land in Alaska, with a mission “to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
Seems like a good idea for Alaskans to be involved, doesn’t it?