Oregon timber counties getting $60M

FILE - A burned, cut tree inside Unit 2 of the Mike's Gulch timber sale on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon near Selma, is shown June 12, 2006. The tree was cut to check for insect damage prior to a timber auction. (AP Photo by Jeff Barnard)
FILE - A burned, cut tree inside Unit 2 of the Mike's Gulch timber sale on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon near Selma, is shown June 12, 2006. The tree was cut to check for insect damage prior to a timber auction. (AP Photo by Jeff Barnard)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says payments to timber counties under the last year of the Secure Rural Schools Act will be going out soon, and Oregon’s share totals more than $60 million.

The agency announced the payments Friday.

Members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation say U.S. Bureau of Land Management payments going out later will raise the total to $107 million, shared by 18 Oregon counties.

The Obama administration agreed in December not to apply the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration to the payments.

The Secure Rural Schools Act was enacted in 2000 to make up for reduced revenues shared with counties after logging cutbacks to protect fish and wildlife.

The act expires after the 2014 payments, leaving some counties struggling to pay for law enforcement and other services.

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