Interagency Wilderness Steering Committee

Steering Committee Charter

Background: As recognized in Interagency Agreement 94-lA-052, the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Biological Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service have adopted the concept of a Steering Committee to provide coordinated national interagency leadership for the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. This action also acknowledges the need for these agencies to work in concert in the administration of one National Wilderness Preservation System, and focuses the activities of the Steering Committee with this goal always in mind.

Goal: To develop the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center the Aldo Leopold Wilderness research Institute programs to improve interagency coordination and cooperation in the management of an understanding of wilderness resources and values.

Purpose: The purpose of the Interagency Wilderness Steering Committee is to direct the work of the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (hereafter, the "Carhart Center" and he "Leopold Institute") at a national strategic level. The Steering Committee will approve the goals and objectives for annual programs of work, and leave to the Center and Institute Directors the day-to-day operations and programs of work to meet these objectives.

Relationship to Member Agencies: There is no intent to change authorities or responsibilities of the various officers of the five member agencies. Participation in the Steering Committee is viewed as a positive step in the accomplishment of individual agency Wilderness missions.

Steering Committee Membership: The Steering Committee will be comprised of two members from each of the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Biological Service. One member from each agency will be the "National Leader" of wilderness programs for that agency, or of an equivalent position. Selection of the other Steering Committee member is left to each agency. An agency may designate an "acting" member to attend any steering Committee meeting, to be fully empowered with all rights and privileges of a full steering committee member. Others may attend the Steering Committee meetings as requested to provide information and/or participate in discussions, but will not have a "vote" in final decision making.

Steering Committee Leadership: A member of the Steering Committee is selected as Steering Committee Chair for a two-year term. Each agency will have the opportunity to lead the Committee, as the Chair position will rotate throughout the agencies, beginning with the Forest Service.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Steering Committee Chair:

  1. Set the dates, location, and make arrangements for all Steering Committee meetings.
  2. Be responsible for developing agenda and keeping meeting notes and the Steering Committee records.
  3. Serves as primary spokesperson for the Steering Committee; initial or sign all correspondence issued by the Steering Committee.
  4. Facilitate decision making by the Steering Committee.

Steering Committee Members:

  1. Represent agency interest and concerns in the activities of the Carhart Center and Leopold Institute.
  2. Serve as agency spokesperson on behalf of the interest of the Carhart Center and Leopold Institute.
  3. Facilitate implementation of decisions made by the Steering Committee in each Agency.
  4. Attend Steering Committee meetings and fully participate in discussions and decisions.

Activities of the Steering Committee:

  1. Facilitate communication between agency field personnel and Carhart Center and Leopold Institute personnel about training and research needs.
  2. Provide contacts within each agency on specific projects.
  3. Review and provide feedback on proposed training and research programs.
  4. Help establish priorities for specific training and research projects.
  5. Provide guidance regarding future development of the Carhart Center and Leopold Institute
  6. Transmit Carhart Center and Leopold Institute budget staffing needs to agency officials to ensure their consideration in budget deliberation.

Steering Committee Operations:

Meetings- The Steering Committee will meet twice a year, with March and October as recommended months. It is initially recommended that the March meeting deal primarily with budgets and accountability, the October meeting with programs. Other meetings may be called throughout the tear as necessary, either of the entire Steering Committee or of small working groups. Meetings will be facilitated and informal.

Communication- Steering Committee members will rely on e-mail as a primary linkage. The Carhart Center and Leopold Institute Directors can directly contact Steering Committee members as needed. Steering Committee members can freely distribute final meeting notes and records as desired.

Decision Making- Decision will be made by consensus, with a vote called by the Chair as needed. Only Steering Committee members or their acting will participate in decision making.

Records- The Chair is responsible for assuring that notes be kept of each Steering Committee meeting. Notes should include decisions and progress of the meetings and programs, not a complete transcript of the session. The notes will be circulated for review to Steering Committee members before general distribution.

Committee Members

Chair: Roger Semler
Chief, Wilderness Stewardship Division
National Park Service, DOI
1201 Eye Street, NW, Room 940
Washington, DC 20005
202-513-7220 (voice); 202-430-7615 (cell)

Vice Chair: Peter Mali
Senior Wilderness Specialist (Acting)
National Landscape Conservation System
Bureau of Land Management, DOI
20 M Street S.E.
Washington, DC 20003-3503
202-912 -7179 (voice); 202-503-7460 (cell)

John Dennis
Deputy Chief Scientist
National Park Service, DOI
Natural Resource Stewardship & Science
1201 Eye Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
202-513-7174 (voice)

Sandra Skrien
National Wilderness Program Leader
US Forest Service, DOA
Yates Federal Building, MS 112
201 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20250
202-649-1727 (voice)

Alexander Schlueter
Natural Resource Specialist,
Presidential Management Fellow
USDA Forest Service
Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers
201 14th Street SW
Washington, DC 20250
202-756-7132 (voice)

Nancy Roeper
National Wilderness Coordinator
Division of Natural Resources
National Wildlife Refuge System
US Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
703-358-2389 (voice); 571-451-5411 (cell);

Connie Myers
Director, Arthur Carhart
National Wilderness Training Center
32 Campus Drive #3168
Missoula, MT 59812-3168
406-243-4654 (voice)

Susan Fox
Director, Aldo Leopold
Wilderness Research Institute
790 East Beckwith Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801
406-542-4193 (voice); 406-396-4149 (cell)

Rudy Schuster
USGS Wildlife Program Manager (Acting)
Reston, VA
Social & Economic Analysis Branch Chief
USGS Fort Collins Science Center
970-226-9165 (voice); 970-218-2698 (cell)