‘Trees To Textbooks’ Generates $1.4 Million For Southeast OH Schools And Communities

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School districts and townships in Athens and more than 10 other Southeast Ohio counties will share nearly $1.4 million from the sale of timber in Ohio's state forests. 

Through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' annual "Trees to Textbooks" program, a percentage of the revenue generated from state forest management activity goes to the county, township and school district in which the activity took place. 

"It's a way to give back to the local community," said Nate Jester, district manager for the ODNR Division of Forestry. "It's important for sustainable timber management. It's also important for forest health and diverse wild life habitat and it's important that the jobs are local and the revenue is kept locally as well."

Jester said the program distributes 32.5 percent of the net revenue from a county's timber sales to school districts, 16.25 percent to the township that the sale occurred in and 16.25 percent to the county.

"It's a significant revenue source for the county's school districts where that timber sale is occurring. Anytime education is supported with revenue from local products, I think that's a significant aspect," he said.

He said the program does not specify how each county, township and school district must spend the funds distributed to them.

"Local schools and communities benefit from not only the jobs and economic value generated, but from the many environmental and social benefits of a well-managed forest," said Robert Boyles, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry.

According to ODNR's county-by-county breakdown of the disbursements, Athens County will receive more than $7,300 from its timber sales to distribute to selected townships and school districts in the county. Recipients include Federal Hocking Local School District, Nelsonville-York City School District and Bern and York townships.

Hocking County will receive close to $8,000 to split between the county, Laurel Township and Logan-Hocking Local School District.  

Vinton County will receive more than $340,000 to be shared between five townships, one local school district and the county.

Other recipients include townships and school districts in Adams, Columbiana, Harrison, Jackson, Muskingum, Perry, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties.