Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding has received a one year extension thanks to Congress. Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 527, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013. The measure was approved in the U.S. Senate last week.
H.R. 527 provides a provision to extend Secure Rural Schools funding for one year, allowing forested counties and public schools within those counties, to receive payments based on pre-2000 levels of timber harvesting activity on federal lands.
Many of California’s forested counties, including Nevada County, have come to rely on the more than $33 million statewide of SRS funding as timber harvesting practices on federal forest lands have been dramatically reduced.
Secure Rural Schools funding is a crucial link to assist rural counties, as it supports vital classroom instruction and county road programs. Had Congress not re-authorized SRS funding for 2013, California’s already struggling rural counties and schools would have lost nearly $33 million.
In Nevada County SRS Funds are also used to fund the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County.