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Forestry Board approves updated Elliott State Forest management plan
November 3, 2011
Contact:          
Kevin Weeks (503) 945-7427 or Dan Postrel (503) 945-7420
 
The Oregon Board of Forestry Thursday approved a new management plan that increases timber harvest and addresses conservation values on the Elliott State Forest near Reedsport.
 
Meeting in Forest Grove, the Board voted 4 to 2 to approve the plan, which becomes effective on January 1, 2012. The new plan:
 
Increases timber production with sustainable targets. 
Projected annual timber harvests increase from the current average of 25 million board feet to 40 million board feet. Clear-cut and partial-cut harvests are planned to occur on 1 percent of the forest’s total acreage each year.  All harvest areas are replanted, as required by Oregon law.
 
Expands revenues to public schools.
The purpose of the Elliott State Forest, as directed in the Oregon Constitution, is to generate revenue to fund Oregon’s 197 K-12 public school districts. The 2011 plan is forecast to provide net revenue to the Common School Fund and counties of $9 million to $13 million annually, depending on market conditions – an increase over current yields of about $6 million to $8 million under the 1995 plan.
 
Provides for conservation areas that are protected from timber harvest. 
An estimated 28,000 acres – about one-third of the Elliott State Forest – will be unavailable over time for timber harvest consideration. Over the next 35 years, the proportion of the landscape in older forest habitat is expected to increase from 43 percent of the forest to 50 percent.
 
Supports the economies of coastal Oregon and the Willamette Valley. 
The plan will generate several million dollars in additional forest-products sector payroll in southern Oregon and the mid-Willamette Valley as Elliott State Forest logs are processed in local mills.  Logs harvested from state lands are prohibited under federal and state law from being exported as raw logs.
 
Board members John Blackwell, Cal Mukumoto, Jennifer Phillippi and Gary Springer voted in favor of the plan, with members Peter Hayes and Sybil Ackerman opposed. The Board vote serves as concurrence with the State Land Board’s approval of the plan, and also adopts the forest management plan for the roughly ten percent of the Elliott State Forest under Board of Forestry ownership.
 
More than 90 percent of the 93,000-acre Elliott consists of Common School Fund lands under jurisdiction of the State Land Board. The Department of Forestry manages those lands under agreement with the Land Board and the Department of State Lands. The rest of the forest is under jurisdiction of the Board and Department of Forestry.
 
The Land Board, consisting of Governor John Kitzhaber, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Secretary of State Kate Brown, approved the new management plan unanimously on October 11.
Two public comment periods occurred on the draft forest management plan, one in 2010 and a second which ended August 1, 2011. Public hearings on the draft plan were held in Roseburg and North Bend this year.
 
Implementation of the plan will include annual reviews, ongoing research and monitoring, and investigation of potential sales of carbon credits, which reflect forests’ capacity to absorb carbon dioxide that contributes to global climate change.
 
In 2010, the Land Board and the Board of Forestry directed the departments of Forestry and State Lands to prepare a new Elliott plan to replace a Habitat Conservation Plan first adopted by agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995. Prior to this direction, the state had tried for several years to reach agreement with federal agencies on revisions to the habitat plan.
 
The Elliott State Forest was established in 1930 as Oregon’s first state forest. The 2011 Elliott State Forest Management Plan is available on the ODF web site at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/STATE_FORESTS/elliott.shtml 
 
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