(a) Requests for assistance
Economically disadvantaged rural communities may request assistance from the Secretary in identifying opportunities that will promote economic improvement and diversification and revitalization.
Terms Used In 7 USC 6613
- action team: means a rural natural resources and economic diversification action team established by the Secretary pursuant to section 6613(b) of this title. See 7 USC 6612
- Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
- economically disadvantaged: means economic hardship due to the loss of jobs or income (labor or proprietor) derived from forestry, the wood products industry, or related commercial enterprises such as recreation and tourism in the national forest. See 7 USC 6612
- Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
- rural community: means --
(A) any town, township, municipality, or other similar unit of general purpose local government, or any area represented by a not-for-profit corporation or institution organized under State or Federal law to promote broad based economic development, or unit of general purpose local government, as approved by the Secretary, that has a population of not more than 10,000 individuals, is located within a county in which at least 15 percent of the total primary and secondary labor and proprietor income is derived from forestry, wood products, and forest-related industries such as recreation, forage production, and tourism and that is located within the boundary, or within 100 miles of the boundary, of a national forest. See 7 USC 6612
- Secretary: means the Secretary of Agriculture. See 7 USC 6612
Upon request, the Secretary may establish rural natural resources and economic diversification action teams to prepare an action plan to provide technical assistance to economically disadvantaged communities. The action plan shall identify opportunities to promote economic diversification and enhance local economies now dependent upon National Forest System land resources. The action team may also identify opportunities to use value-added products and services derived from National Forest System land resources.
The Secretary shall design and organize any action team established pursuant to subsection (b) to meet the unique needs of the requesting rural community. Each action team shall be directed by an employee of the Forest Service and may include personnel from other agencies within the Department of Agriculture, from other Federal and State departments and agencies, and from the private sector.
In preparing action plans, the Secretary may cooperate with State and local governments, universities, private companies, individuals, and nonprofit organizations for procurement of services determined necessary or desirable.
The Secretary shall ensure that no substantially similar geographical or defined local area in a State receives a grant for technical assistance to an economically disadvantaged community under this subchapter and a grant for assistance under a designated rural development program during any continuous five-year period.
After reviewing requests under this section for financial and economic feasibility and viability, the Secretary shall approve and implement in accordance with section 6614 of this title those action plans that will achieve the purposes of this subchapter.
(g) “Designated rural development program” defined
In this section, the term “designated rural development program” means a program carried out under section 1924(b), 1926(a), or 1932(e) of this title for which funds are available at any time during the fiscal year.