in the early 1800s, the U.S. Congress granted specific sections of land to
states when they entered the Union with the stipulation these lands be used for
the primary purpose of benefiting public education. The lands, known as Common
School Trust lands, were granted to Oregon under the Oregon Admission Act and
included Sections 16 and 36 of every township (about 3.4 million acres). Through both the Oregon Constitution and the
Admissions Act, these lands and related income are dedicated to the Common
School Fund through a Trust that remains in effect today. The State Land
Board, established under the Oregon Constitution, is trustee of the Fund. The
Department of State Lands (DSL) administers the day-to-day work of the Board.
statehood Oregon has sold much of these lands, and today the Board's Trust land
base consists of about 780,000 acres. About 124,000 of these acres are in
forestlands, and most of these acres (about 117,000) are managed by the Oregon
Department of Forestry for the DSL. These forestlands are managed
primarily to produce merchantable timber on a sustainable basis in accordance
with plans adopted by the Land Board in cooperation with the Board of Forestry.
Most of these forestlands are in the
Elliott State Forest (about 84,000 acres) located in the Coast Range northeast
of Coos Bay. Other major holdings are
within the Sun Pass State Forest (6,400 acres), Yainax Butte parcel near
Klamath Falls (3,034 acre), and forestlands in northwest and southwest Oregon
(about 26,000 acres). Management
planning for these lands are integrated within each ODF administrative unit or
planning area. Approximately 7,000 acres
that DSL directly manages are referred to as “de-certified” forestlands.