Elliott State Forest ownership transfer and timeline
Friday, October 28, 2016
Elliott State Forest ownership transfer
What: Revenue from Elliott State Forest timber sales has contributed more than $400 million to Oregon’s Common School Fund, but environmental regulations have curtailed logging, causing the fund to lose money since 2013. The State Land Board is set to sell its 82,500 acres of forest land and generate investment income for the Common School Fund.
What’s next: The State Land Board has set the property’s value at $220.8 million, and it has set four conditions for prospective bidders to meet in addition to price. Potential bidders include timber companies, as well as environmental organizations wanting to preserve the forest for habitat and recreation. Bids are due Nov. 15.
Why it matters to schools: The Department of State Lands says the sale protocol meets its fiduciary obligation to maximize school funding, given federal and state restrictions on logging. Sale opponents argue that the state should challenge logging restrictions that have curtailed timber sales. If the land is to be sold, they say, it should be to the highest bidder, without conditions they believe further erode its market value.