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Resolutions & Amendments

34th International Convention - Philadelphia (2000)

Declining Timber Sales and County Revenues

Resolution No. 25
34th International Convention
June 26 - 30, 2000
Philadelphia, PA


Current law gives counties 25 percent of the revenue generated by national forest lands within their boundaries, and approximately 800 counties count on revenue from the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to pay for public schools and roads as compensation for the revenue they would have otherwise received from this land; and


While most local governments across America prosper from the collection of property tax revenues, counties adjacent to federal lands must rely on revenues generated from that land's resources; and


Since 1987, timber harvests on these lands have dropped nearly 80 percent, resulting in nearly $1 billion less in timber sales; and


While most communities in the U.S. have experienced unprecedented prosperity throughout the 1990's, rural forest communities have slid into poverty, unemployment and a lower standard of living due to the decline in timber sales; and


The dire situation in these communities is directly related to the decline in federal timber sales, and the shift away from production in rural forests has left counties and schools without adequate funds to maintain infrastructure, essential service delivery and staffing levels; and


Federal legislation has been introduced calling for increased funding for forest counties which are experiencing a decline in revenue, adversely affecting the quality of services and infrastructure.


That AFSCME support federal and state legislation that would provide forest communities with adequate compensation for the taxes they lose by having the non-tax paying federal and state governments as a local landowner; and


That AFSCME work to develop and support a long-term solution to revenue problems facing rural forest counties by combining a secure funding base for county services with an environmentally sound approach to land management.



Joseph J. Devlaeminck, President
Joseph M. Edney, Treasurer
Janice Smart, Secretary
AFSCME Council 75

Arlyn Stepper, President and Delegate 
Robin Mariani, Treasurer and Delegate
AFSCME Local 189, Council 75