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Bureau of Land Management distributes funds from timber revenues to 18 Oregon counties

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The O&C lands in Columbia County are located in the Chapman area, which the Crown Zellerbach Trail passes through.Columbia County will receive $586,072 this year from Bureau of Land Management timber harvests.

The BLM announced $29.4 million in payments to 18 Oregon counties last week through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The federal program requires BLM to distribute funds to counties where BLM manages and sells timber harvests.

The majority of the funding, $496,000, can be used for whatever the county decides.

Title III funds, which total $41,000 this year, can be used for "specific community services that make communities safer from wildfire, support emergency services, and expand broadband communications and other technology for local schools." That money will go directly to the county this month.

Title II funds, which account for the remaining $49,000 this year, are designated for "cooperative, community-based natural resource projects that restore and improve public lands." The BLM Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee reviews grant applications for that pot of money. Roughly $2.6 million is available for Title II projects across 18 Oregon counties.

The BLM manages 2.4 million acres of Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands, or O&C lands, in 18 Oregon counties. Columbia County accounts for a small portion compared to counties like Lane, Jackson and Douglas, which will each receive more than $4 million this year.

The O&C lands in Columbia County are around the Chapman area, between Vernonia and Scappoose.

Columbia County receives Secure Rural Schools funding every year. The funds come from timber sales but aren't directly allocated by harvest location. Instead, the funding formula somewhat evens out annual fluctuations.

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