S.D. AG, others disagree with federal withholding of timber sale revenue

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 24, 2013

PIERRE, S.D. (Legal Newsline) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and 13 other attorneys general called on the federal government Monday to end the sequestration of timber sale funds.

Jackley and the other attorneys general argued that the funds are owed to the states under the federal Budget Control Act's Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act, Twenty Five Percent Fund Act and Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

"The federal authorities have made the right decision to stop withholding monies owed to states and schools under the Mineral Leasing Act," Jackley said. "The attorneys general would like to help them reach the same conclusion and honor our request to avoid litigation over timber sale monies that the state is legally entitled and that directly affect school districts in South Dakota."

In the letter, the Conference of Western Attorneys General argued that the SRS entitles states to funding from the federal government for the sale of timer sold on federal lands within the states' jurisdictions' boundaries. A significant portion of the funding for SRS payments comes directly from receipts that are typically provided to states and counties.

The Twenty Five Percent Fund Act and the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act statutorily guarantee shares of U.S. Forest Service receipts for timber, minerals, grazing, recreation and other uses of the national forests and national grasslands that are provided to states and counties. The transfers are directly funded by federal receipts.

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