Siskiyou County has almost 63% of its land base in federally managed lands (USFS, BLM, USFWS refuges.) There is not enough of a private tax basis to adequately fund essential community services. The federal ownership also precludes any expansion of communities so that development could occur and increase the tax base. When the Forests were reserved, Congress recognized that and passed a law that 25% of the revenue that came from federal lands would go to the counties for schools and roads.
When the Northwest Forest Plan went into effect (northern spotted owl and salmon,) the forests were shut down from timber harvest. Back in the 1950s, we had 50 sawmills, now we have zero - just one plywood mill (peeler/corer) and one door moulding mill.
The Secure Schools and Communities Act was passed by Congress to backfill the counties for this lost revenue. The Act sunsets this year. In Siskiyou County, we will lose slightly under $4 million in revenue for schools, half of our road department's operating budget and the funding for our general county fire (Amador Plan) and search and rescue services. It will be a huge and immediate crisis.
The Act is up for reauthorization. The President wants to renew for five years, but decrease the amount of payment to zero. Then the County will go back to its 25% of whatever harvest is allowed, which has been almost none.
I was told today that 33,000 of those acres slated for disposal are in the Klamath and Shasta Trinity National Forests. Sale would release them into private ownership and back on the private tax roles. I understand that most are along the I-5 corridor. I haven't seen the list, so I don't know how I feel about it. They gave me the URL today: http://www.fs.fed.us/land/staff/spd.html
Thanks for the link. The KNF is selling alot. A cursory check of the list showed scattered parcels near Callahan, also the scattered parcels north of Fort Jones in the Rattlesnake, Patterson and McAdams Crk areas. I also see there scattered parcels around copco lake on the list. Parcels on I-5 in south county would be the Shasta NF. Which I didn't check. Looks like there will be lots of work for me this year if this indeed moves forward.
Is this a proposal, or did congress already pass this?
Why do they need the same number of schools in these areas when the mill have shut down and the jobs have gone. Haven't the people there moved on to greener pastures by now?