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Board of Forestry approves land transfers in western Oregon
September 8, 2010
Contact:         Mike Totey (541) 929-9151 or Kevin Weeks (503) 945-7427
 
The Oregon Board of Forestry today approved the exchange of forestland located in Benton, Lincoln and Polk counties, where similar amounts of state land will be exchanged for private land.
 
The land exchange involves about 1,904 acres of state-owned land and 2,095 acres of forest owned by Starker Forests Incorporated. The land values, including harvestable timber, are approximately equal, according to an independent appraisal. Third-party assessments also were conducted for sensitive plant, fish and wildlife habitat on affected forest lands. ODF completed an assessment of recreational values.
 
The forestland acreage in the land exchange approved Wednesday includes:
 
  • Lincoln County: 1,024 acres of state land and 1,070 acres of Starker land.
  • Benton County: 484 acres of state land and 696 acres of Starker land.
  • Polk County: 396 acres of state land (includes 40 acres of Common School Fund land) and 329 acres of Starker land.
 
The land exchange yields a net increase of 191 additional acres in state ownership of forestland, producing additional economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregon and local county services.
 
ODF began negotiations with Starker Forests in 2008 regarding a potential exchange of lands for the purpose of consolidating respective ownerships and to increase management efficiency and effectiveness in forest management by both parties.
 
Public hearings on the proposed land transfer occurred in April 2010 in Newport, Corvallis and Dallas. Additional public comment on the proposal was accepted during May 2010 and the proposed land exchange was approved by the Board of Commissioners in Benton, Lincoln and Polk Counties during June 2010. 
 
The 40-acre parcel of forest in Polk County under Common School Fund ownership proposed for transfer from the Department of State Lands to Starker will be reviewed by the State Land Board this fall.
 
The Board of Forestry voted 5-0 to approve the land exchange, with board member Gary Springer abstaining due to his employment with Starker Forests.
 
ODF manages 848,000 acres of state forestland to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to local communities throughout Oregon.
 
Maps of the land exchange areas