Government addresses subsidies program

February 07, 2007 11:00 pm

Wescom Wire Service

A Bush administration official described plans Tuesday to use the receipts from federal land sales to extend funding for the county timber subsidies program.

Mark Rey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's undersecretary for natural resources and environment, offered two methods for funding the $400 million-a-year program.

Since 2001, Del Norte County and Del Norte Unified School District have received a combined $2.5 million annually in federal timber payments. The dollars make up for lost revenue because the federal government ended logging on its lands. But Congress has made not approved an extension of those timber payments, which expired last year.

To extend the payments for the remainder of 2007, Rey supported putting the money into a supplemental spending bill.