The Forestry Research Advisory Council
(FRAC) is a statutory committee and is chartered to have 20 members representing a) Federal and State agencies concerned with developing and utilizing the Nation’s forest resources; b) the forest industries; c) the forestry schools of the State-certified eligible institutions, and State agricultural experiment stations; and d) volunteer public groups concerned with forests and related natural resources. Members serve 3 year terms. South Carolina State Forester Gene Kodama is a member of FRAC.
FRAC was originally mandated by the McIntire-Stennis Act in 1962. It is required by the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to provide advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on accomplishing efficiently the purposes of the Act of 1962, and to provide advice related to the Forest Service Research Program, authorized by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1976.
The establishment of FRAC as part of the McIntire-Stennis forestry research legislation was due to the fact that forestry research capacity exists in the Forest Service and the forestry colleges, schools and departments. FRAC fulfills an important role in providing for the coordination of forestry research across all forestry research institutions and agencies to ensure that the most pressing issues are being addressed.
The Council’s 2014 Report to the Secretary included recommendations for The National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop and implement programs to allow for long-term research in both competitive and capacity research programs to increase the ability to address complex, multidisciplinary questions; to increase research investment in ‘non-traditional” forest systems such as agro- and urban forestry that provide critical ecosystem services to diverse populations and urban and rural landscapes; to increase McIntire-Stennis funding to $50 million and expand eligibility to include 1994 Land Grant Institutions; leveraging and expanding U.S. Forest Service Research and Development capacity, which has declined dramatically in the number of Forest Service research scientists, and is thus putting a strain on the ability of the agency to respond to the emerging challenges facing the Nation; increasing Agency collaboration with outside partners in academia, tribes, nongovernmental organizations to increase capacity; and increase research and development investments to support forests and forestry across all lands, including research for developing new forest products, advanced manufacturing; and market and technology research to enhance understanding of the markets and attitudes that drive them, including addressing the emerging bio-economy, sustainable building and “buy local” markets.
The current members of the FRAC are: George Brown, Nicole Cavender, Kevin Cheung, Melissa Cook, Daniel Dructor, Alexander Evans, Myron Floyd, J. Keith Gilless, Shibu Jose, South Carolina State Forester Henry "Gene" Kodama, Adrian Leighton, Cassandra Moseley, Eric Norland, Shannon Ramsay, Ronald Reed, Carlos Rodriguez-Franco, Robert L. Smith, Eric Vance, and Charles “Buck” Vandersteen.