BLM Distributes $29 Million In Secure Rural Schools Funds

KQEN News Radio

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington announced $29.4 million in payments to eighteen western Oregon counties under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act.

The payments are made in lieu of timber harvest receipts based on a formula set by Congress.

Douglas County government is receiving just under $8.3 million of that total amount.

BLM Oregon/Washington State Director Berry Bushue said, “We’re committed to sustainable forest management as part of our multiple-use and sustained yield mission”. Bushue said, “This work supports local economies and provides family-wage jobs for our neighbors, and with the funds we are able to support critical community services like education and public safety”.

A release said the BLM manages 2.4 million acres of Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands in eighteen western Oregon counties for sustainable timber harvest. BLM said the lands are some of the most productive timberlands in the world. In addition to sustainable timber harvest, BLM managed forests are home to valuable fish and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities, cultural and historic resources and wild and scenic rivers.

The release said of the $29 million, roughly $2.6 million will be set aside for cooperative Title II projects. Authorized by the Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee, these projects aim to improve the health of public lands. They can include wildfire hazard reduction, stream and watershed restoration, forest road maintenance, road decommissioning or obliteration, control of noxious weeds, improvement of fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for youth training and employment.

Following Douglas County, the largest payments went to:

*Lane County – over $4.3 million

*Jackson County -over $4.1 million

*Josephine County -nearly $3.9 million

*Coos County -over $1.8 million

KQEN News Radio

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