Western Governors have expressed support for proposed legislation in the House and Senate to extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS), which compensates more than 700 forest counties and school districts for timber harvesting revenue lost due to changes in federal forest management policy.
In letters sent on June 13, 2017, the Governors commend the bills, which would enable funding of critical education, infrastructure and other basic needs in forest-dependent communities in the West.
"The expiration of SRS in 2015 has limited local governments’ ability to deliver important services to rural constituents ... and defaults on a 100-year-old federal commitment to western states that depend on these payments," states the letter signed by WGA Chair and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and WGA Vice Chair and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
The letters were sent to: Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Suzanne Bonamici; Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.