The Barbed Wire - December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014
Fiscal Year 2015 Spending Bill Passes House – Status of Federal PILT and SRS

Fiscal Year 2015 Spending Bill Passes House – Status of Federal PILT and SRS

Last week, the Congress passed and sent to the President H.R. 3979, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, and H.R. 83, the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill.  While the primary purpose of NDAA is to set national defense policy, the measure included a federal lands package which provides a $70 million appropriation for the Federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.  Additionally, the Congress included $372 million for Federal PILT in H.R. 83 as part of the Interior Appropriations Bill, bringing total PILT funding to $442 million – just under historic Federal PILT funding levels.

Unfortunately, efforts to fund the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRS) proved unsuccessful in the final days of the 113th Congress.  SRS was not reauthorized in the closing days of the 113th Congress, and thus FY 2014 SRS payments remain in doubt.  However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been quoted in national media outlets pledging to reform federal forestry policy in the first 90 days of the 114th Congress, and that discussion will likely include some aspect of SRS reauthorization.  The key will be how a GOP-led U.S. Senate receives forest reform efforts from the House.  In addition, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) provided assurances on the House Floor last week that “enacting an extension to the Secure Rural Schools program is going to be an early priority for next year,” although further information regarding how SRS would be funded and whether forestry reform would be considered as part of the SRS funding strategy was not discussed. 

As presented at the recent RCRC Board Meeting, in the coming weeks we will be encouraging counties that are impacted by SRS to adopt resolutions in support of reauthorization.  Included in this communication will be additional details on RCRC’s comprehensive media and advocacy outreach strategy for SRS and a long-term reauthorization of Federal PILT.  


High-Speed Rail

House-passed appropriations legislation for the Department of Transportation had contained language prohibiting any federal funds from being spent on the highly controversial California High-Speed Rail Project.  This provision was removed from the appropriations language agreed to by the House and Senate this week.  The project therefore remains eligible for TIGER Grants and other federal funds.


Notice of Funding Availability – $35M for HCD’s Housing-Related Parks Program

Click here.

California Fire Safe Council – 2015 Grants Clearinghouse Schedule

2015 Grant Cycle Timeline

January 8, 2015:                  Open for online applications (Request for Applications (RFA)

available on CFSC website)

January 8 – 16, 2015:         Grant Application Training (various locations)

February 19, 2015:              Grant Application deadline 5:00 p.m. (All supporting
documentation must be uploaded to ZoomGrants, no mail/email will be accepted)

Click here for detailed Application Workshop information and registration.

Second Round of Flood Emergency Response Projects – Statewide Grants Announced

Last week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that $5 million of Proposition 84 funding is now available for the second round of the Flood Emergency Response Projects – Statewide grants.  This grant is designed to provide funding for local emergency responders outside of the legal Delta to improve their capacity to respond to flood emergencies.  The 60-day application period began on December 9, 2014, and will end on February 9, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.  The purpose of this grant is to provide grant funding for local emergency responders to work with the DWR to improve local flood emergency preparedness and response.  Detailed information on the grant can be accessed here