With wildfires roaring in California, it might not seem an auspicious time for the U.S. Forest Service to ask a dozen states – including the Golden State – to return $17.9 million in federal revenue-sharing funds. But that’s just what the agency has done, citing sequestration budget cuts.
Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, in letters to the governors of the states involved, noted that sequestration requires a 5.1 percent cut across the board in 2013, saying that his agency “has no alternative” but to ask for the money back.
Not so fast, say advocates for the states, including members of the U.S. House and Senate. They argue that sequestration does not apply to the funds, which were generated in 2012 but distributed in 2013.