By Kiera Morgan
Oregon Coast Daily News
The Bureau of Land Management recently issued payment to 18 Oregon counties with Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands (commonly known as O&C Lands) under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act extension.
Lincoln County’s share is $1.4 million. Of that, 75 percent will go to the county road fund and 25 percent is earmarked for public schools.
The payment represents 25 percent of the receipts from rentals, sales of timber and other sources for the year ending Sept. 30, 2013. Oregon and California counties received a total of $39 million under program.
In Oregon, the O&C Lands comprise about 2.7 million acres spread across 18 western Oregon counties managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Those counties used to receive 50 percent of the timber revenue, but have seen funding severely reduced because of significantly reduced harvest levels over the past two decades.
There are about 8,800 acres of O&C Lands in Lincoln County, making it the 17th smallest O&C Oregon county. Douglas County is the largest, with 728,000 acres.
On Oct.2, 2013 Congress passed a one-year re-authorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act as part of the Helium Stewardship Act. Over the years, Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act projects have provided trail maintenance, culvert replacement or removal, soil improvement, vegetation/density management, wildfire hazard reduction, stream channel enhancement, control of noxious and exotic weeds, and opportunities for youth training and employment.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, more than any other Federal agency. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In fiscal Year, 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.