County Payments

The federal government compensates counties for the tax-exempt status of federal lands within their boundaries. For rural counties, particularly those with extensive public land ownership, these payments often constitute a significant portion of county and school budgets, and influence economic development opportunities.

Commercial Activities on National Forests
Report

Commercial Activities on National Forests

— Updated: Headwaters Economics produced two interactive maps to show the range of commercial activities on National Forests at the Forest, state and forest region levels.

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Report

Time to Create a Natural Resources Trust

— Unlike most countries and state governments, the U.S. has not created a natural resources trust which could help meet volatility and spending challenges facing local and county governments.

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graph of county payments
Report

County Payments Research

— County governments are compensated for the tax-exempt status of federal public lands within their boundaries. These payments often constitute a significant portion of county and school budgets, particularly in rural counties with extensive public land ownership.

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county payments map
DataViz

County Payments: History, Context, and Policy

— These interactive maps show how federal land payments are distributed to counties and states. Explore both the Payments History maps as well as the Policy Options maps which project what happens if SRS is not reauthorized or if PILT is reformed into a single payment to counties.

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Headwaters-staff-Mark-Haggerty
Mark Haggerty
Blog

Time for a U.S. Natural Resources Trust?

— Compared to other nations and even U.S. states, the federal government is a conspicuous laggard in creating a natural resources trust which would allow for stable, permanent, and ever rising payments to states and local governments without risks to taxpayers.

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Clearwater collaborative
Report

Clearwater Basin Collaborative

— The Clearwater Basin Collaborative is a diverse group of regional interests working together to craft a plan for the protection, use, and management of National Forest land within the Clearwater Basin in Idaho.

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