Timber communities worried about budget impact

Jun 03, 2013 -- 9:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska timber communities are worried about how they'll be impacted by a federal demand that certain payments to them be returned. The U.S. Forest Service chief letters has asked states to return $17.9 million in timber payments due to automatic federal budget cuts. The payments are used by communities to pay for schools, roads, search and rescue operations in rural counties and conservation projects. Governor Sean Parnell has refused to repay or return money that came to Alaska. A Forest Service spokesman says the agency is reviewing its options. Petersburg borough manager, Steve Giesbrecht says he was confused by the government's demand. APRN reports Petersburg is one of the biggest recipients of Secure Rural Schools program money in Alaska. Giesbrecht says the money Petersburg received already has been allocated.

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