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USDA Forest Service invests more than $228 million to support schools, roads, other services

Press Office


WASHINGTON, April 14, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service today announced it is issuing more than $228 million to support public schools, roads and other municipal services through the agency’s Secure Rural Schools program. The program was reauthorized for fiscal years 2021 through 2023 by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Funds will be paid to 742 eligible counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

“The Secure Rural Schools program is one of many ways the Forest Service provides continuous support to communities across the country” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “Not only do these dollars provide funding for schools and roads, but the program also reimburses counties for providing emergency services on national forests and supports the development of community wildfire protection plans, all critical programs designed to improve the quality of life in these communities.”

The Forest Service retains some of the funding to support projects that improve forest conditions and support jobs in rural communities. Resource advisory committees made up of residents representing varied interests and areas of expertise review and recommend the projects that meet their local needs.
In addition to Secure Rural Schools payments, the Forest Service is using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding to improve forest conditions, support local economies and create jobs by investing in forest restoration projects, road and trail maintenance, recreation opportunities and wood innovation development.
Over the past 10 years, the Forest Service has distributed $2.4 billion through the Secure Rural Schools program. This year’s payments to states are below.

  1. Alabama: $1,592,935
  2. Alaska: $10,493,105
  3. Arizona: $9,382,509
  4. Arkansas: $5,240,717
  5. California: $32,535,506
  6. Colorado: $11,920,745
  7. Florida: $2,165,753
  8. Georgia: $1,201,669
  9. Idaho: $22,993,216
  10. Illinois: $219,617
  11. Indiana: $230,545
  12. Kentucky: $1,218,658
  13. Louisiana: $1,540,415
  14. Maine: $62,592
  15. Michigan: $3,058,004
  16. Minnesota: $2,111,545
  17. Mississippi: $4,344,135
  18. Missouri: $2,678,719
  19. Montana: $14,255,025
  20. Nebraska: $169,974
  21. Nevada: $3,411,616
  22. New Hampshire: $428,027
  23. New Mexico: $9,588,527
  24. New York: $17,905
  25. North Carolina: $1,383,685
  26. North Dakota: $289
  27. Ohio: $213,428
  28. Oklahoma: $784,344
  29. Oregon: $45,656,904
  30. Pennsylvania: $2,827,147
  31. Puerto Rico: $167,296
  32. South Carolina: $1,382,911
  33. South Dakota: $1,233,941
  34. Tennessee: $1,022,448
  35. Texas: $1,852,860
  36. Utah: $7,659,122
  37. Vermont: $293,711
  38. Virginia: $1,392,356
  39. Washington: $14,562,647
  40. West Virginia: $1,391,968
  41. Wisconsin: $1,539,177
  42. Wyoming: $4,422,350

TOTAL:  $228,648,043

For payment information by county, visit Secure Rural Schools - Payments | US Forest Service.

In the years after the Forest Service was established in 1905, the national forest system tripled in size, growing from 56 million in 1905 to 172 million acres in 1908. To compensate counties for potential losses of tax revenue from this early growth, Congress ratified the Act of May 23, 1908. The Act allowed the Forest Service to distribute a portion of agency revenues from timber sales, mineral leases, recreation, grazing and other sources to those states and counties containing national forests and grasslands.
Over time, agency revenues from these activities have declined through shifts in policy to manage national forests for multiple uses, including recreational and environmental considerations. In response, Congress passed the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 to help stabilize fiscal support for rural county services. In 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reauthorized Secure Rural Schools payments through fiscal year 2023.
Each state’s Secure Rural School payment amount is determined by various factors established in the law, including the number of counties that elect to share in a state's payment. Payments to states are distributed after the Forest Service collects revenue to accommodate those counties electing to continue participation in revenue sharing rather than the Secure Rural School payment.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
For more information about the USDA Forest Service visit