At a recent meeting, the Southern Montana Resource Advisory Committee made funding recommendations for 21 of the 42 project proposal they received. The counties included in the Southern Montana RAC are Park, Powder River, Stillwater and Sweet Grass. The projects, designed to improve the National Forest System lands in the four counties have an estimated cost of $921,000 and are funded under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, reauthorized in 2008.

The Southern Montana RAC was charted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage communities and federal land managers to work together to recommend projects that will enhance forest ecosystems and improve land health and water quality on both the Custer and Gallatin National Forests or other nearby lands in Park, Powder River, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties.

The committee is comprised of 15 community members with diverse representation across the counties, including outdoor recreation, commercial industry, environmental organizations, tribal, elected officials, and school officials.

“The Committee worked very hard, putting in a few long days to reach agreement on the 21 projects that benefit the four counties, “said Southern Montana Chair, Ernie Strum. “The projects range from treatment of invasive weeds, road improvement, and cutthroat trout restoration, to trail access, improvement and restoration.”

“The county commissioners are excited about the projects selected and look forward to seeing them implemented, especially work on the Main Boulder Road and eradicating invasive weeds,” noted Sweet Grass County Commissioner Rick Reed.