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  CHARTER
 
INTRODUCTION
The Northern Rockies Coordination Group (NRCG) is established to provide an interagency approach to wildland fire management and all risk support on all land ownerships within the States of Montana, North Dakota, northern Idaho, and a small portion of South Dakota.
AUTHORITIES
Interagency agreements between Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior, and the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, commonly called the Joint Powers Agreement. The effective date of this agreement was October 1, 1982.
     • Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (P.L.) 95-313,92
        Stat. 365; 16 U.S.C. 2101(note), 2110-2110,1606,2111)
      • Federal Response Plan, Stafford Act
      • State Emergency Operations Plans
SCOPE
NRCG deals with all fire management related issues or opportunities that have interagency implications within the Northern Rockies Geographic Area. NRCG conducts its business at two levels. A Board of Directors deals with issues that are Geographic Area in scope. Within the Geographic Area, Zones are in place to conduct business at a more local level.
MEMBERSHIP
The NRCG Board of Directors is composed of representatives from the following organizations (some of the Zones may add other local representatives to their executive group):

      Bureau of Land Management
      Fish and Wildlife Service
      National Park Service
      Bureau of Indian Affairs
      Forest Service
      Montana Disaster and Emergency Services Division
      Idaho Department of Lands
      North Dakota Forest Service
      Montana Firewardens Association
      Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Each member of the Board of Directors will have the authority to speak for their organization. Agencies will be responsible for the appointment of their representatives.
MISSION
To further interagency cooperation, communications, and coordination, and to provide interagency fire management direction and all risk support for the Northern Rockies. The mission is achieved by:

     • Operating at a strategic/oversight level
     • Encouraging cooperation across jurisdictional and administrative boundaries
     • Oversee fire health and safety issues
     • Providing interagency direction to field units
     • Providing a group response to agency specific requests that have interagency
        implications
OFFICERS
NRCG will appoint a chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson that will serve for one year. An executive secretary will be provided by the Forest Service. The Vice-Chairperson shall advance to the office of Chairperson after the completion of one year or upon the permanent vacancy of the Chairperson.

Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson: The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson are responsible for the overall operations of NRCG. The chairperson calls the meetings and conference calls, sets the agenda, facilitates the meetings, and facilitates efforts to reach agreement on issues. The Chairperson will sign NRCG decision documents. A signature by the chairperson represents consensus agreement by all of the NRCG participating members.

Executive Secretary: The executive secretary reports to the chairperson. The secretary will ensure that meeting notices are distributed, minutes of meetings are taken, edited, filed and distributed; products from working groups are reproduced and distributed to NRCG members and agencies. The secretary tracks work commitments, distributes executive committee tasks, prepares decision documents and conducts follow-up on the status of NRCG decision implementation.

Zone Coordinators: The duties of the zone coordinator are closely aligned with the responsibilities of the executive secretary. This individual provides the coordination bridge between the Geographic Area NRCG Board of Directors and the zone organization that is in place to manage the business of a zone.
COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES
NRCG will establish standing committees and task forces to address issues. All standing committees will operate with a charter. When task forces are established, work orders will define specific issues to be addressed.

Standing committees may be composed of membership from each of the Zones, technical specialists, and an NRCG Director who will serve as a liaison. Committees will appoint a chair.

Issue specific task forces are envisioned. Technical specialists and interested individuals from the NRCG fire community will make up the task forces. Standing committees can develop their own task forces when they identify a need and each task force must have a specific work plan defining their objectives.

All committees and task forces will keep meeting notes that will be distributed broadly to NRCG members.
FINANCING
Each agency’s financial contributions will be through negotiation for individual projects and will be limited to expenses incurred by representatives of the agency performing agency approved actions.

Nothing herein shall be construed as obligating any of the member agencies to expend funds of the United States, or the States of Montana, Idaho, or North Dakota, in any contract or obligation for future payment or work in excess of appropriations authorized by law and administratively allocated for this work.
ADOPTION OF POLICY
Agency representatives will have the authority to represent their organizations in all operational aspects for fire management. They will be expected to provide an interpretation of their organization’s policy. If a change in policy is required within an agency, the members will work through the appropriate agency administrators.
 

 


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Northern Rockies Coordinating Group
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kortman@fs.fed.us

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