Daines: Montana Counties Set to Receive Long-Awaited SRS Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today announced that the U.S. Forest Service will allocate nearly $18 million to Montana’s rural and forested counties under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.

The Forest Service this week released 2014 SRS payment levels for Montana counties following the recent reauthorization of the critical program.

“The Secure Rural Schools program is a lifeline for Montana’s rural counties – many of which have suffered from severe economic challenges in the wake of declining timber harvests and natural resource production. These payments are welcome news for the dozens of Montana counties that are already stretching their budgets to support local schools, infrastructure maintenance and critical community services,” Daines stated. “But Montanans still need long-term certainty and permanent solutions that perpetual short-term extensions of the Secure Rural Schools program can never provide. We must continue working for long-term solutions that improve the health of our National Forests and create the good-paying jobs that are needed for the economic renewal of Montana’s rural counties.”

Beaverhead County Commissioner Michael McGinley commended Daines’ work to reauthorize the SRS program.

“Beaverhead County would like to thank Senator Daines and the Montana delegation for the passage of Secure Rural Schools,” stated McGinley. “This federal land payment to the county is critical for the services we provide to our citizens.  We will offer any help needed to come to a permanent solution to federal forest management and its effects on our local economies.”

Daines joined the Senate on April 14, 2015 in passing a two-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools program.

Complete information on the Forest Service’s schedule FY 2014 SRS payments, including a county-by-county breakdown, is available here.