Forest Service revenue of more than $389 million will be used for improvements to public schools, roads and stewardship projects in 41 states and Puerto Rico.
"This is the seventh and final year of payments as authorized under the Secure Rural Schools Act and Community Self Determination Act of 2000, as extended by PL 110-28 for one year," says acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner. "The Forest Service has distributed more than $2.5 billion dollars under this legislation since 2001 to assist counties in maintaining and improving local schools and roads."
For the last 100 years the Forest Service has returned 25% of revenue from timber sales, mineral resources and grazing fees to states where national forest lands are located. The Secure Rural Schools Act was designed to stabilize payments to counties because of the fluctuation of timber receipts. The act expired at the end of fiscal year 2007, however the program was extended for a year, but limiting factors will decrease payments in the additional year. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.