WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler expressed her support of the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) decision to release full Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding. Herrera Beutler had been pressing USFS to use its authority to ensure communities were receiving the full payments.
The USFS had previously withheld a portion of SRS funds rural communities like Skamania and Lewis counties rely on for basic services. The agency announced late on Friday it would be sending the remaining SRS payments to states as early as this week.
“This news comes as a relief to those who live in Skamania and Lewis counties, who have been forced to depend on Secure Rural Schools funding to help cover essential services due to severely lacking federal forest policies,” Herrera Beutler said. “While I won’t let up in my effort to allow Skamania County and our other forested communities to derive school and emergency services funding from sustainable forest management, at least they have a little more budgetary breathing room in the short term.”
You can read the letter Herrera Beutler sent to U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen here.