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USDA Forest Service Invests More Than $232M to Support Schools, Roads, Other Services as Part of Investing in America Agenda

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service today announced it is issuing more than $232 million to support public schools, roads and other municipal services through the agency’s Secure Rural Schools program. As the Biden-Harris administration invests in ways for forests to generate more economic opportunity in rural areas, it also aims to support the quality of life in those communities through programs like Secure Rural Schools. The program was reauthorized for fiscal years 2021 through 2023 through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Fiscal year 2023 funds will be paid to 745 eligible counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

“National forests and grasslands cover more than 193 million acres, including across rural counties that are important partners in helping sustainably manage resources,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Secure Rural Schools program is able to contribute to the economic vitality and well-being of the communities intertwined with our forests.”

“The Secure Rural Schools program is just one of the ways the Forest Service supports communities nationwide,” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “This funding aids schools and roads, reimburses counties for national forest emergency services, and assists in creating community wildfire protection plans – all critical programs designed to enhance the quality of life in these communities.”

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.

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.

This year’s payments to states are below:

States Payments
Alabama $1,643,523
Alaska $10,314,755
Arizona $8,869,762
Arkansas $5,400,021
California $33,720,305
Colorado $12,574,121
Florida $2,223,095
Georgia $1,170,257
Idaho $21,552,395
Illinois $549,818
Indiana $221,350
Kentucky $1,352,826
Louisiana $1,571,793
Maine $61,140
Michigan $3,448,901
Minnesota $2,243,841
Mississippi $4,614,710
Missouri $2,639,657
Montana $13,396,642
Nebraska $176,796
Nevada $4,149,561
New Hampshire $447,052
New Mexico $9,309,362
New York $19,091
North Carolina $1,469,497
North Dakota $251
Ohio $228,088
Oklahoma $764,330
Oregon $47,782,384
Pennsylvania $3,135,476
Puerto Rico $171,857
South Carolina $1,458,678
South Dakota $1,122,288
Tennessee $1,035,900
Texas $1,800,075
Utah $7,287,609
Vermont $299,856
Virginia $1,385,662
Washington $15,181,392
West Virginia $1,486,097
Wisconsin $1,674,092
Wyoming $4,461,02
TOTAL: $232,415,330

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.

Agency revenues from these activities declined in the late 20th century. 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.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


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