MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Proposals are now being accepted for projects that benefit natural resources on national forests within Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, and Hinsdale Counties. Funding for the projects are made available through Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

The purposes of the Act include making investments and creating employment opportunities through special projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives, or restore and improve land health and water quality. Examples include projects that restore watersheds, decommission or maintain roads, manage noxious weeds, or otherwise improve forest health on or adjacent to the national forests.

Project proposals that meet the intent of the legislation will be reviewed by the Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC will provide recommendations to the Forest Service on which projects should be funded. The RAC is made up of local citizens representing a wide range of interests.

Project proposals should be posted online by close of business on Friday, July 1, 2016.

To access the Upper Rio Grande Title II Project application form, go to:  http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/CreateNewProjectPage?rac=001t0000002JcvxAAC or click on the Upper Rio Grande RAC link on the right side of the Rio Grande National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande.

The Saguache RAC is currently in the process of combining with the Upper Rio Grande RAC. Individuals wishing to submit proposals for projects within Saguache County should use the Upper Rio Grande RAC project form.

To learn more about the Secure Rural Schools Act, go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts

For more information about the Upper Rio Grande RAC or how to submit project proposals, contact Mike Blakeman at the Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 719-852-6212