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Elliott State Forest Management Decisions Near

Elliott State Forest
Francis Eatherington
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/umpquawild/7364545846/in/set-72157604830218384
Elliott State Forest

ASHLAND, Ore. -- When the State of Oregon agreed last spring to sell three tracts of the Elliott State Forest to timber companies, conservation groups mobilized in opposition.

Now people will have an opportunity to speak to the decision-makers in person at a special meeting of the State Land Board in Coos Bay.

Wednesday, Oct. 8

3-6 p.m.

1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay

The state says managing the Elliott has cost the Common School Fund about $3 million in 2013 – meaning there was less money available for distribution to public schools. Officials project the forest will cost $2 million more in 2014.

The sale of the 1,450 acres last spring will bring $4 million in to the Common School Fund. The State Land Board, which oversees management of the Elliott, also wants to determine if further public-to-private ownership transfers are viable; was there interest from the private sector to purchase the land? And how much would buyers pay?

Now the State Land Board is closing in on a long-term management plan for the Elliott. It’s considering several “feasible business models” and taking public comment until Friday, October 10th.

On Wednesday the board will hold a special meeting in Coos Bay to take comments in person.

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Jes Burns is a reporter for OPB's Science & Environment unit. Jes has a degree in English literature from Duke University and a master's degree from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communications.