Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Land sale approved by State Land Board, Parks Commission
Eight Dollar Mountain
For immediate release
More information:    Julie Curtis, DSL – 503-986-5298
                                 Chris Havel, OPRD – 503-986-0722
Eight Dollar Mountain Tract to be managed for natural resource values
Salem – Two state agency governing boards have approved the transfer of ownership of a 651.48-acre, steeply forested parcel of land in southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley near Cave Junction.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) got the go-ahead on Jan. 17, 2008, from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission to purchase Eight Dollar Mountain from the Department of State Lands (DSL) for $849,000. The State Land Board approved the sale today of the Common School Fund (CSF) forest tract during their public meeting in Salem. The sale is expected to close by the end of April 2008.
“This property is special,” said Gov. Ted Kulongoski, chair of the Land Board. “Eight plant species were first discovered here, and it’s part of a larger area of public land listed in the state’s Register of Natural Heritage Resources because of its rich botanical profile.” 
In its April 2006 Acquisition Priorities Report, OPRD zeroed in on the property as an important potential purchase. The department uses dedicated Oregon Lottery funds to improve the state park system, adding valuable recreation, natural and historic lands as the state’s population grows.
“Oregon has a wide-ranging state park system. We develop some parks, and keep others as natural areas,” said Tim Wood, OPRD Director. “Since this parcel is a State Natural Heritage Site, we may eventually add some land-friendly, primitive hiking trails so people can appreciate the area firsthand.”
DSL’s 2006 – 2016 Asset Management Plan classifies the Eight Dollar Mountain Tract as “special stewardship land,” and recommends its disposal to an entity such as OPRD in order to preserve the property’s natural resource values.
“Given this property’s varied and unique plant species and soils, and its potential benefits to the public as a protected area, we think this sale to state parks is a great solution,” said Louise Solliday, DSL director. “OPRD is much better suited to managing this land and to ensuring it’s protected for future generations of Oregon citizens and visitors.” 
Proceeds of the sale will be deposited into a Common School Fund land account for reinvestment in other real estate. Earnings from the fund are sent twice yearly to Oregon’s 198 K-12 public school districts. In 2008, distributions will top $55 million.
DSL will retain ownership of a 2.06-acre parcel at the mountain’s summit that currently is leased as a communication tower site.
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 200 state parks, plus programs for Oregon’s ocean shores, scenic waterways, the Willamette River Greenway, recreational trails and all terrain vehicles. The department also provides grants to local governments, manages the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center, and oversees state heritage preservation efforts through the State Historic Preservation Office, Oregon Heritage Commission and Oregon Commission for Historic Cemeteries.