Wednesday, January 05, 2011

$389 million from forest lands distributed

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that more than $389 million is being distributed to 41 states and Puerto Rico for public schools and roads and specific county programs under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

Since 1908, 25 percent of Forest Service revenues from timber sales, mineral leases, recreation, grazing and other sources have been shared with states and counties where national forest lands are located, according to a news release. As the revenue from these sources declined, Congress created the act to help soften the blow from the reduced income. The funding, available through 2011, also reimburses counties for emergency services in national forests and pays for development of wildfire protection plans. (Read more) (List of payments, by state)

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