July 21, 2009

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $29 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Oregon Forests

WASHINGTON D.C. - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that nearly $29 million in Recovery Act funds will go to facility infrastructure, energy efficiency upgrades, and trail maintenance in Oregon's forests. The funding also includes $3 million for the Oregon Youth Employment Initiative. This program puts youth to work in the woods and helps conserve natural resources in Oregon's forests.

"Our forests are integral to our way of life. They create jobs, provide recreation activities for our families and help boost local economies by attracting tourists from all over the world," said Merkley. "These funds will restore the infrastructure of our recreation facilities, promote energy efficiency, help maintain our forest trails and create much needed jobs in the process."

"This funding will improve recreation facilities and infrastructure at forests in Oregon, creating jobs and boosting the tourism industry," said Wyden. "Now I hope to see the administration turn its focus to restoring our forests, preventing catastrophic forest fires, putting people back to work in our mills, and ending the harvest of old growth forests."

In addition to the nearly $29 million for Oregon forests, another $4.8 million will go towards providing maintenance for the Umatilla and Pacific Crest Trails that run through Oregon and Washington State.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invests billions in upgrading our nation's transportation infrastructure, promoting the development and production of clean energy, and repairing public buildings to immediately create or save jobs. The legislation cuts taxes for 95 percent of workers and their families, including tax credits of $400 per worker or $800 per family. Finally, a third component of the bill provides vital funding for states to prevent state layoffs and ensure the continuation of important health, education and housing services.