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Serving: United States

Forest Service issues $193M to 41 states and Puerto Rico

iStock/Getty Images sunshine and sunrays in the woods.
Money is issued through Secure Rural Schools program, which supports jobs in rural communities.

The U.S. Forest Service has issued more than $193 million to support public schools, roads and other municipal services through the agency’s Secure Rural Schools program. The funding will be delivered as payments to more than 700 eligible counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

“The Secure Rural Schools program is one of many ways the Forest Service supports rural communities as a good neighbor," said USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. "This support is part of USDA's ongoing commitment to work hand-in-hand with community leaders and to provide vital economic relief to local communities."

In addition to payments for schools and roads, the Secure Rural Schools program supports Firewise Communities programs, reimburses counties for emergency services on national forests, and funds development of community wildfire protection plans.

The Forest Service retains a portion of Secure Rural Schools program funds to support projects that improve forest conditions and support jobs in rural communities. Resource advisory committees, made up of local residents representing varied areas of interest and expertise, review and recommend projects that meet their local needs.

Beginning in 1908, the Secure Rural Schools program allowed the Forest Service to share 25% of its revenues from timber sales, mineral leases, livestock grazing, recreation fees, and other sources with counties in and around national forests. By the 1980s, largely because of diminished timber sales volume, Forest Service revenues from these sources began to decline.

The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 replaced the revenue sharing model with a guaranteed level of payments, giving forest-dependent rural communities a more reliable set of funding, while protecting forest resources that provide clean water, recreation opportunities and other benefits. These payments were most recently reauthorized for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. Payment amounts are determined by a number of factors set in the law, including acres of federal land within an eligible county, an income adjustment based on the per capita personal income for each county, and the 5% reduction in the overall payments each year. 

FY20 Payments to States

State

Amount

ALABAMA

1,349,779

ALASKA

7,711,492

ARIZONA

8,458,813

ARKANSAS

5,118,564

CALIFORNIA

23,545,995

COLORADO

10,135,093

FLORIDA

2,041,149

GEORGIA

1,090,338

IDAHO

19,281,121

ILLINOIS

210,153

INDIANA

194,815

KENTUCKY

1,233,370

LOUISIANA

1,364,393

MAINE

53,797

MICHIGAN

2,761,048

MINNESOTA

1,695,379

MISSISSIPPI

3,968,736

MISSOURI

2,617,632

MONTANA

12,197,140

NEBRASKA

144,041

NEVADA

2,834,946

NEW HAMPSHIRE

384,219

NEW MEXICO

8,394,329

NEW YORK

15,422

NORTH CAROLINA

1,298,545

NORTH DAKOTA

358

OHIO

191,467

OKLAHOMA

767,977

OREGON

39,347,939

PENNSYLVANIA

2,641,850

PUERTO RICO

134,716

SOUTH CAROLINA

1,253,419

SOUTH DAKOTA

1,103,535

TENNESSEE

870,518

TEXAS

1,788,761

UTAH

6,711,257

VERMONT

229,983

VIRGINIA

1,172,244

WASHINGTON

12,679,768

WEST VIRGINIA

1,361,059

WISCONSIN

1,196,121

WYOMING

3,855,099

Grand Total:

193,406,400

 
Source: USDA Forest Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
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