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Ark. Forestry Commission lays off 36 workers

The Arkansas Forestry Commission is laying off 36 workers in January to make up for a $4 million shortfall in its budget because of declining timber sales.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Forestry Commission is laying off 36 workers in January to make up for a $4 million shortfall in its budget because of declining timber sales.

State Forester John Shannon said Monday that the employees were informed on Friday that they would be laid off effective Jan. 13. The 298-person state agency oversees conservation and fire suppression in the state's forests.

Shannon said the commission's Little Rock headquarters was hardest hit by the layoffs, with eight administrative employees let go. Other layoffs were scattered in offices around the state.

The shortfall in the agency's $20 million budget stems from a drop in revenue from timber sales. Shannon said state and federal funds had been stable, but the agency had seen a sharp drop in timber severance tax collections.

 

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