Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oregon Governor Calls For A 'Plan B' For The Elliott State Forest - Full Article

by Cassandra Profita Follow OPB/EarthFix | Dec. 13, 2016

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday sought an new alternative to selling a state forest in southwest Oregon to the only bidder to offer the full asking price.

At a meeting of the Oregon State Land Board, Brown called for setting aside $100 million in state bonding authority to allow for a new proposal on how the state should manage the Elliott State Forest going forward.

Brown thanked the sole bidder in the state’s effort to sell the Elliott State Forest before asking Oregon Department of State Lands Director Jim Paul to proceed with developing a direct offer of sale to Lone Rock Timber of Roseburg and the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Indians. The timber company and tribe submitted the only bid of $220.8 million for the 84,000-acre forest.

The governor also said she wants the land board to have another option on the table at its next meeting in February. She called on the public to work out a “Plan B” that would use up to $100 million in state bonds to buy the Elliott out of the Common School Fund and into a new ownership structure that could include state and private ownership.

“We are very clear that in Oregon our public lands are irreplaceable assets,” she said. “I absolutely believe we must protect the values we as Oregonians hold so dear...”

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