Arkansas Forestry Commission Laying Off 36 Workers

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 85 views 

The Arkansas Forestry Commission will lay off 36 of its nearly 300 employees on Jan. 13, according to a report from the Arkansas News Bureau.

The state agency says its federal and state funding has been steady, despite the possible threat of a loss of federal funds should major budget cuts result from a Congressional super committee’s failure to find a compromise.

Forestry Director John Shannon tells the bureau that declining revenues from the timber industry’s severance tax collections are primarily to blame.

The commission receives revenue from the state timber severance tax, which Shannon estimated is about $800,000 below last year’s tax revenue, and from the sale of timber from Poison Springs State Park, which he said is about $1.2 million below last year’s sales revenue.

The commission gave the employees the news on Friday. Gov. Mike Beebe’s office has agreed to provide temporary loan assistance so the workers can keep their jobs through the holidays.

Eight of the employees being laid off work in administrative positions in Little Rock. The rest are scattered across the state.

“Nobody’s happy about this. We are all heartbroken,” Shannon said.

You can read more at this link.