Wednesday, December 9, 2009
POLK COUNTY -- Fifteen trust timberland counties in Oregon, including Polk County, will receive about $42.5 million in revenue payments this year.
Another $13.5 million will go to the statewide school fund, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced.
The funds come from timber harvests on forestlands managed by ODF from July 2008 through June 2009.
The 15 counties receive timber revenue because they deeded cutover or burned lands to Oregon decades ago with the understanding that once the land began to produce again, they would receive a percentage -- now about two-thirds -- of the revenue.
More than $77,000 will go to Polk County, which has 6,122 acres of deeded forestland. There are 657,700 acres of state forestland in Oregon.
This year's collective payment to counties is far below the five-year average of $51.5 million. While stumpage prices dropped about one-third from five- and 10-year averages, the volume harvested, at 236.7 million board feet, remained about the same as the averages over time.
The $13.5 million generated from Common School Forest Lands was deposited directly into the Common School Fund, which helps support public education statewide in Oregon.
The federal government granted these lands to the state at the time of statehood in 1859.
ODF's State Forests Division uses about a third of the total timber revenue to manage state-owned forestland for economic, ecological and social benefits. No general fund tax dollars come to the program.