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Sen. Murkowski Welcomes Secure Rural Schools Payments

U.S. Forest Service Receipts Compensate Alaska Communities for Lost Tax Base

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that the U.S. Forest Service is distributing more than $18.1 million to Alaska communities for improvements to public schools, roads and stewardship projects under the Secure Rural Schools program.

The Secure Rural Schools program, which officially expired at the end of last fiscal year, has historically shared revenue from Forest Service timber sales with local governments and schools, including communities in the Tongass and Chugach National Forests. However, since timber sale levels have declined dramatically in recent years, Congress has provided supplemented funding.

Unless the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act is re-authorized these represent the final payments under the program. If not renewed, communities will continue to receive 25 percent payments from the Forest Service’s average receipts from timber harvests and other activities.

Murkowski has co-sponsored a bill (S. 1692) that would extend payments to boroughs, unorganized communities and schools in southeast and southcentral Alaska through 2017.

Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senator Energy and Natural Resource Committee, with oversight of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which are responsible for making these payments to the local governments in Southeast Alaska.

The Forest Service manages 24.3 million acres of public lands in Alaska.

Community payments under the Secure Rural Schools program for 2011 are listed below:

Community

FY 2011 SRS Payment

ANCHORAGE

$118,745.13

HAINES

$444,586.64

JUNEAU

$895,892.64

KENAI PENINSULA

$723,000.64

KODIAK ISLAND

$2,607.37

KETCHIKAN GATEWAY

$1,338,860.48

MATANUSKA-SUSITNA

$29,840.96

SITKA

$1,262,765.10

SKAGWAY

$37,020.28

UNORGANIZED

$10,962,363.82

YAKUTAT

$818,244.26

WRANGELL

$1,506,869.01

 Total

$18,140,797.33

 

Visit our website at www.energy.senate.gov/public/

 

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