CONGRESSIONAL INACTION JEOPARDIZES JEFFERSON COUNTY'S AWARD WINNING JUVENILE PROGRAM -- (House of Representatives - February 27, 2007)
Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, the failure of Congress to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act amounts to a breach of faith to more than 600 forested counties and 4,400 school districts across America, including Jefferson County in Oregon, where more than 50 percent of the land is in Federal ownership, which means the county's Community Work Service program for primarily juvenile offenders will be eliminated.
Under the program, juvenile community service work crews remove trash from public lands, rehabilitate hiking trails, revegetate denuded areas, and repair resource damage due to vandalism. In 2004 alone, these young people removed more than 150 tons of garbage and more than 2 miles of old barbed wire fence from BLM lands.
In fact, the Bureau of Land Management awarded this program the National Volunteer Award for making a difference on the public lands in 2005. It has been very successful in addressing recidivism and introducing a new generation to America's forests.
Former Madras Mayor Rick Allen said: ``Loss of these funds will cripple community services.''
My colleagues, Congress must keep the Federal Government's promise to timbered communities. Pass H.R. 17. Time is running out.