Sen. Kirk Pearson’s legislation to extend the Department of Natural Resources’ contract-harvest program for five years received final legislative approval Thursday.
“This bill is very important to trust beneficiaries, including our local schools, and I’m thrilled that it passed both the House and the Senate,” Pearson said. “The contract-harvest program is a great tool that generates revenue for schools, keeps our forests healthy, and those forest contracts that go to small businesses will keep people working.”
The contract-harvest program, created in 2003, sells the rights to harvest standing timber from forested state lands by auction. The highest bidder enters into a contract to cut and remove the timber, while the money earned is directed toward schools and universities. The program was originally set to expire in 2014.
“Senate Bill 5337 simply extends the expiration date for another five years,” Pearson said. “Doing so is expected to bring in between 1 million and 3 million dollars in the next biennium.”
The regular legislative session is scheduled to end Sunday.