Democratic News

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (ENR), announced that West Virginia counties will receive a total of $1,514,788.90 through the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. Senator Manchin pressed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen about the SRS payments to 14 West Virginia Counties during last month’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

“In December of last year, myself, the Chairman and members of this Committee, worked diligently to enact a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools program. Over 290,000 West Virginians really depend on that. They sent me letters, they were really excited. But even though we provided the funding, the money hasn’t been disbursed. What should I tell them? When will they get this money? And why is it taking so long to get it out the door?,” Senator Manchin asked.

“Senator Manchin we appreciate your leadership on Secure Rural Schools. It really does make a difference across the country in these rural counties with public lands. We are working with top priority. It will be out before the end of March. I’ve asked my folks to step it up to top priority to get it out,” Chief Christiansen said.

In December, Senator Manchin secured a 2-year extension to the SRS program for counties in WV with Forest Service lands. These payments are allocated based on the amount of Forest Service land in a county.  There is a total of 1,046,600 acres of Forest Service land in West Virginia.  

In addition to the $1,514,789.90 in payments to counties, the extension will also be providing the National Forests in West Virginia an additional $195,221.17 as well.  This funding will be used for recreation and restoration projects on the Monongahela National Forest and George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, and Webster counties.  Local public advisory groups will select the projects that the Forest Service undertakes with this funding.

 

Individual Awards Listed By County:

Pocahontas – $405,215

Randolph – $288,835

Pendleton – $213,592

Webster – $161,758

Greenbrier – $137,994

Tucker – $112,452

Hardy – $70,286

Nicholas – $45,878

Grant – $33,755

Monroe – $33,682

Preston – $6,906

Hampshire – $4,356

Mercer – $72

Barbour – $9

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