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Forest Service seeks to pull back timber payments

Citing federal budget cuts, the U.S. Forest Service plans to take back a portion of the timber payments it had promised or paid out to 22 states.

Under the plan, California would lose nearly $2.2 million, leaving about $1 million for its programs for habitat improvement and other forest-related projects.

Collection letters from Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell went out to governors around the country Monday.

Earlier this year, Tidwell sent letters to 41 states, asking for the return of $17.9 million in timber payments used to pay for schools, roads, search and rescue operations and conservation projects.

The Western Governors' Association objected to the request. The governors said the budget act that triggered the automatic federal cuts, known as sequestration, does not include language authorizing retroactive application the cuts.

— Staff and wire reports. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com

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