Since 2001, the federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act has compensated counties with national forests in their boundaries for lost timber revenue on federal land they cannot tax. The decade-long program has paid 38 California counties $678 million. Most of that money – more than $573.7 million – has funded county roads and schools.
But the program expired in 2011. Without renewal, California county and school officials say, weathered roads will go unrepaired, and schools will have more crowded classrooms, fewer programs and fewer teachers.
This map shows how much money each county received in 2011 through Secure Rural Schools, as well as total payments since 2001. Six counties – Inyo, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego – have not received program funds since 2007. Like Los Angeles County, which also includes national forest land, they have opted for a different federal timber compensation model. Counties not displayed on the map do not include national forests and are therefore not compensated through Secure Rural Schools.