Search form

Donate Today

EarthFix

Court: Oregon Should Not Have Sold Elliott State Forest Land

Court of Appeals says 2014 public land sale violated state law.

August 2, 2018

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled the state should not have sold off a piece of the Elliott State Forest to a Eugene-based timber company four years ago. The state sold the land in 2014 after environmental groups successfully sued to halt several timber sales on the forest.

“It’s our understanding that this will revert back into public ownership like it should be,” said Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands, one of several groups challenging the sale.

The Elliott State Forest in southwestern Oregon was initially set aside to generate money for schools as part of the Common Schools Fund, but federal endangered species protections also apply. After timber sales were halted, the Oregon State Land Board decided to generate that money instead by selling an 800-acre parcel to Seneca Jones Timber Company.

Seneca did not immediately return a request for comment.

The East Hakki Ridge parcel sold to Seneca Jones Timber Company was one of two parcels of forestland sold at the time.  The second sale is tied up in court as well, but being challenged on different grounds.

Oregon had planned to sell the entire Elliott State Forest after management costs began to outpace timber revenues. But the decision was reversed, and last year the Legislature passed a fix that relieved the forests of its mandate to generate funds for schools.  

The Oregon Department of State Lands says it is currently considering the ruling. 



SUPPORTED BY



This photograph was taken on the Ash Valley Overlook Unit, a recently logged portion of the Elliott State Forest sprayed by Applebee Aviation hours before the Oregon Department of Agriculture suspended the company's license. The license suspension came after a state investigation found violations of worker protection laws.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

There are 0 comments

Read Comments Hide Comments

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <xmp><em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd></xmp>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
As a public media organization, KCTS 9 is committed to presenting a diversity of voices and perspectives through the stories we produce. We invite our readers to participate in an active and respectful discourse through our comments feature. All comments are moderated before posting to our website; if we deem a comment to be inappropriate and/or threatening, it will not be published.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.