Oregon’s $63M Rural Funds, WA lawmaker’s timber plea, Walden…

Timber News Update

by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers

Counties Receive Rural Schools Funds Paid:  USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in January announced the US Treasury paid $323 million to counties within 41 states having national forests.  The fiscal year 2013 payment is the last to support schools and roads as part of Congress’s one-year reauthorization of the ‘Secure Rural Schools Act.’  Although Oregon federal timber counties received $63 million, this amount pales compared to the $250 million reaped annually by Oregon counties in the 1980s, when receipts were based on a share of then-robust federal timber sale income.

Congressmen Call for Better Forestry:  Washington Republican US Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Doc Hastings sent a letter urging US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to improve management of national forests.  Pointing to recent wildfires that destroyed half a million acres of federal forests land in WA, the congressmen asked Chief Tidwell to prioritize a management plan to urgently address 3 million acres of most at-risk national forests (of 9 million acres in WA).

Rep. Walden Rising House Leader:  Oregon US Congressman Greg Walden was elected to serve as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), becoming the 5th ranking member of his party in the US House—a feat not realized by Oregon in decades.  The leadership post increases Rep. Walden’s influence to work for Oregon citizens, especially small business and resource producers.  The West holds three of the top-five House Republican leadership positions.

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