February 08, 2013

Wyden Statement on Secure Rural Schools Payments

Portland, Or -  Oregon Senator Ron Wyden released the following statement today urging the Secretary of the Interior to release the entire Secure Rural Schools payments to O&C counties:

“Rural counties with O&C lands are desperate for these payments. They’re upset by the delay, and so am I. I wrote the Secure Rural Schools and County Self-Determination Act, and extended it year after year to provide a reliable lifeline to timber-dependent communities.

“My office has spent weeks trying to get them a clear answer on what is happening and last night I personally urged Secretary Salazar and implored him to get out the full payment due to these counties immediately.”

The BLM began to process payments to counties at 90 percent of the full funding amount on Wednesday, due to possible automatic budget cuts in March.  Counties are already beginning to receive those payments, but Senator Wyden is seeking the full payment amount.