SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A U.S. Forest Service program that infused rural communities with millions to make up for lost timber revenue is drying up.
Oregon faces a 90 percent reduction in the payments that have kept critical services afloat in many areas since environmental rules curtailed logging on federal land.
The Salem Statesman Journal says the changes will impact more than 700 counties and 4,000 school districts in 41 states.
The Secure Rural Schools program was enacted in 2000 to help ease the financial blow after a dramatic reduction in logging in the 1990s.
But the program has not been reauthorized and payments going forward will revert to a 1908 law that dedicates 25 percent of timber revenues to local governments.
With logging severely curtailed, those payments will be paltry.
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