The forest service pays 25 percent as partial compensation for the tax-exempt status of federal lands. As a result of a significant decrease in timber harvesting on national forest lands during the 1990s, Congress created the Secure Rural Schools program to help compensate for the loss in revenue. The House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday voted to extend the program for one year. The bill now awaits the president's signature.
“The Secure Rural Schools program has been and remains a critical resource for our local communities in the Allegheny National Forest region,” said Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson. “This extension offers the certainty of knowing this funding will be available, and will help our local communities pay for schools, roads, and many other essential services.”