16 Rural Michigan Counties Receive Support for Schools and RoadsFriday, April 04, 2014
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced over $3.1 million in federal funding to support public schools and roads in 16 Michigan counties. The funding comes through the U.S. Forest Service's Secure Rural Schools program, which provides payments to communities where national forestland is located. The payments are a way for counties to share the profits generated from logging and timber sales in Michigan's Huron-Manistee, Hiawatha, and Ottawa National Forests.
Senator Stabenow's committee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Forest Service.
"With many Michigan communities facing serious budget cuts, this support is important for our public schools and for maintaining our roads," said Senator Stabenow. "Today's announcement reinforces the partnership between our local communities and our National Forests, which are an important part of our way of life."
Secure Rural Schools payments may be used for supporting public schools and public roads. Funding can also be used for projects that protect and restore forestland and wildlife habitat.
Senator Stabenow also led the effort to secure funding through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in the 2014 Farm Bill, which supports critical services such as firefighting and police protection and construction of schools and roads. The 2014 Farm Bill included a one-year extension of PILT to ensure that the Department of the Interior will continue to make annual payments to local governments for tax-exempt federal lands. Michigan received $4.2 million in payments in FY 2013 for 2.2 million acres of federal land.
Secure Rural Schools payments will go to the following Michigan counties: