On Thursday, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) reintroduced the Forest Management for Rural Stability Act (Act). The Act would create an endowment fund to permanently finance the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program and provide counties with stable funding for delivering public services. The RCRC Board of Directors adopted a support position on the Act in January 2019.
The Act relieves SRS recipients from the annual turmoil associated with the Congressional appropriations process and provides guaranteed federal support for critical projects needed for schools, infrastructure, and law enforcement.
The Act would authorize a one-time Congressional appropriation to seed a new endowment fund for SRS and receipts from timber harvests on federal forest land would be deposited annually. Annual payments to counties will use SRS funding levels from Fiscal Year 2017 as a baseline and funds will be distributed to counties using the SRS formula (85% of payments for Title I and 15% for Title III).