WASHINGTON, DC – Cuts in shared revenue tied to timber harvested in federally owned lands in Oregon are expected to take a bite out of government budgets in 18 counties in Northern California and in Oregon.

The payments began in 1937 under the federal Oregon & California Lands Act. But as lumber harvests declined in the Northwest, Congress passed temporary funding to replace the lost timber revenue. That act, extended several times, expires this year, putting a dent in local government budgets, reports the Wall St. Journal.

The counties, which have received $2.6 billion in payments since 2000, are cutting expenditures and looking for alternate revenue sources. Locals argue the payments should continue, since lumbering is restricted by federal protections on millions of forested acres in the region.

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