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Elliott State Forest

Elliott State Forest

The 2017 Oregon Legislature approved $100 million in state bonding to compensate the Common School Fund for the loss of revenue as a result of preserving conservation and other public values within the Elliott State Forest. The Department of Forestry received $985,000 in General Funds for bond issuance costs. 

In addition, about $3.7 million was allocated for work on an updated habitat conservation plan (HCP) and associated planning for the work to retain public ownership ($1.5 million) and for short-term management of the forest ($2.2 million). 

The next steps include:*

  • Determining how to proceed with bond issuance, clarifying agency roles and procedures.
  • Identifying what the $100 million would “buy” within the forest.
  • Laying out a process for and developing the scope of the HCP, which will involve federal and state agencies, stakeholders and the public. 

*This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Background information 

The Elliott State Forest is made up primarily of lands owned by Oregon’s Common School Fund. These lands are unique because they represent the federal government’s contribution to our public school system at statehood. 

School lands were given to the state with the condition that they be used to produce revenue for K-12 schools. A similar commitment exists in our state Constitution. As a result, there is limited leeway in how Common School Fund lands are managed.

Before 2013, the Elliott generated millions of dollars from harvesting on average about one percent of the forest per year. The Department of Forestry has managed the Elliott on behalf of the State Land Board since the forest was established in 1930. 

Since 2013, because of harvest limitations prompted by a lawsuit over federally protected species, owning the Elliott has cost Oregon schools over $3 million. More importantly, the forest is currently projected to continue to lose money because of these restrictions.


Julie Curtis
Public Information Manager
Phone: 503-986-5298

News releases

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