Timber counties aid won't be cut by sequestration

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The mandatory 5-percent budget cuts known as sequestration will not apply to next month's federal subsidy checks to timber counties.

Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio announced Monday that determination came from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Oregon timber counties are to share $100 million from Wyden's Secure Rural Schools Act subsidies. The checks go out in January to cover the period ending last Sept. 30. Earlier payments were cut by sequestration. It was not immediately clear what led to the change.

The program makes up for cuts in federal timber revenues paid to counties since logging was cut back on federal lands in the 1990s to protect fish and wildlife. Since then, automation has further reduced Oregon timber jobs, and counties have struggled.

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