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U.S. Senate Approves Extension of Timber Payments

posted on March 30, 2007

The U.S. Senate approved a plan to authorize about $2.8 billion to extend payments to areas of the country hurt by logging cutbacks imposed in the 1990s to protect the spotted owl and other threatened species.

Most of the money goes to six Western states – Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, but some southern states with a logging industry also receive payments.

The timber law expired last year and efforts to reauthorize it have been frustrated by budget constraints. The plan, approved 75-22, faces an uncertain future because it is attached to an emergency spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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