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Committee seeks public project proposals for north-central Minnesota forest lands

The Chippewa Resource Advisory Committee is seeking public proposals to invest approximately $350,000 of accumulated funds authorized by the Secure Rural Schools Act of 2015.

Chippewa National Forest
Project proposals must benefit national forest lands in Beltrami, Cass, Itasca counties, and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe that meet criteria for activities that improve natural resources. Photo by U.S. National Forest Service, USDA
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CASS LAKE, Minn. – The Chippewa Resource Advisory Committee is seeking public proposals to invest approximately $350,000 of accumulated funds authorized by the Secure Rural Schools Act of 2015.

Project proposals must benefit national forest lands in Beltrami, Cass and Itasca counties and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe that meet criteria for activities that improve natural resources, a release said.

The Chippewa RAC provides recommendations to the Forest Service on the development and implementation of special projects on federal lands as authorized under the Secure Rural Schools Act and Community Self-Determination Act in Public Law 110-343.

The RAC consists of 15 people representing varied interests and areas of expertise, who work collaboratively to improve working relationships among community members and national forest personnel, the release said. All RAC meetings are open to the public, and public announcements will be made when meetings are scheduled.

The RAC highly encourages consulting with a Chippewa National Forest office or staff to ensure you have accurate information for the RAC to consider. Examples of eligible projects include:

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  • Watershed restoration
  • Maintenance of roads or trails
  • Fuels reduction
  • Improvement of wildlife and fish habitat
  • Control of invasive plants
  • Re-establishment of native species
  • Enhancement of National Forest recreation sites
  • Improvements in forest ecosystem health

Proposals are welcome from any source. Individuals, tribes, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies are eligible for funding consideration through grants, cooperative agreements with the Chippewa National Forest, volunteers and work programs. Projects can also be conducted through traditional Forest Service contracting procedures.
The funds are made available through annual payments to states and by counties that elect to invest a percentage of that payment in Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act.

To submit project proposals, use the Secure Rural Schools Act short form available from either the Chippewa National Forest website fs.usda.gov/chippewa , or from Todd Tisler, forest RAC coordinator at todd.tisler@usda.gov .

All applicable federal laws apply, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, or the Heritage Preservation Act, and contracting rules. Consulting a forest service office as proposals develop will help applicants get these and other questions answered.

Project proposals must be received by Aug. 1. They should be sent by mail to: Todd Tisler, RAC Coordinator, Chippewa National Forest, 200 Ash Avenue NW, Cass Lake, MN 56633 or by email to todd.tisler@usda.gov .

Projects will be recommended for funding by the RAC in the fall of 2021 and are anticipated for implementation during 2022.

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