The Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee is now accepting new project proposals from the public. Bitterroot National Forest Executive Assistant Joni Lubke said this isn’t the first time Ravalli County has reached out for suggestions.

"We've done this for several years in the past—I think it's been since 2009—So we are looking forward to approving more projects again this year," Lubke said. "All projects must benefit the national forest system. Projects must meet certain criteria to improve federal lands, road and trails, infrastructure, maintenance, wildlife and fish habitats. As long as it shows a direct benefit to forest system lands."

Lubke said monies used by different groups for certain projects have to be used within the Bitterroot National Forest.

"They have to be used within Ravalli County and direct benefit to the national forest around Ravalli County which would be the Bitterroot National Forest," Lubke said. "Give me a call at 363-7182 or I would be happy to respond to emails: jmlubke@fs.fed.us."

Three projects that received RAC funding last year are shown below.

Classroom Without Walls - Corvallis, MT

Photo courtesy of the Ravalli Republic

Project Goals and Initiatives:  To engage students with authentic learning experiences in science, communication and media through project collaboration with land and wildlife managers that promotes stewardship and creates deeper understanding of current issues on forest lands, provide for career exploration and promote stewardship ethic of public lands among youth.

Little Blue Joint Culvert - Bitterroot National Forest

Photo courtesy of Todd McKay

Project goals and objectives:  The objective of this project is to replace an undersized fish barrier culvert on Little Blue Joint Creek (road 5658 crossing) with a new bottomless arch culvert.

The goal of this project is to provide year-round passage for all aquatic organisms at the Road 5658 crossing.  There is 2.5 miles of historic spawning and rearing habitat for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout upstream of the crossing, and 4.5 miles of perennial stream habitat for amphibians and other aquatic organisms.

Bitterroot Canyons Clearing and Deferred Maintenance Trail Improvements - Montana Conservation Corps

Photo courtesy of MCC

Project goals and objectives:  This project will provide employment opportunities for young adults associated with improving trail conditions on Blodgett, Big Creek, Tin Cup, Mill Creek, Bass Creek, Little St. Joe, Rock Creek, and Chaffin Creek Trails by clearing and reconstructing tread, switchbacks, bridges, and stream crossings that are currently hazardous for recreationists and stock.