The Elliott State Forest near Reedsport is comprised of mostly Common
School Forest Land - 91 percent (about 84,000 acres) of the 92,000-acre
forest. The remaining 9% (8,000 acres) are Board of Forestry lands.
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF)
manages forestland for the State Land Board through an interagency agreement
with DSL. Revenue generated from timber sales and other uses goes to the Common School Fund, which helps fund
public education throughout Oregon.
Each year, ODF and DSL jointly approve operations plans for each state forest
containing common school land. The plans include managing timber harvests,
roads, vegetation, species protection, replanting, wildlife surveying and
recreation. In recent years,
timber harvests have been greatly reduced due primarily to the protection of
threatened and endangered species resulting in net deficits from managing the
Elliott. In 2013, loss from the Elliott was $3 million and deficits are
projected to continue. Draining money from the Common School Fund to
maintain an asset violates the Trust responsibilities of the State Land Board.
In May of 2014, the Department of State Lands initiated the Elliott State
Forest Alternatives Project to develop a range of feasible business models for
future ownership and management of the forest the will satisfy the Trust
responsibilities. The goal of this project is to deliver options to the State
Land Board by the end of 2014.