Located in the Southern Oregon Coast Range, the Elliott State Forest is a 82,500-acre state owned forestland containing some of Oregon’s last remaining coastal old-growth. Approximately half of the forest is over a century old. It provides a home to threatened and endangered species, vital habitat to elk, black bear, and deer, and some of the strongest wild salmon and steelhead runs left on the Oregon Coast. ODFW biologists estimate that 22% of all wild Oregon coastal coho salmon originate in the Elliott.
Our public lands are state treasures. They are key for conservation, recreation, and access. Governor Brown, Treasurer Read, and Secretary of State Richardson have come to the conclusion that the Elliott State Fores needs to stay public. This is a huge turnaround from earlier this year when the latter two voted to try to sell the forest.
The Elliott State Forest is a rich and diverse forest with rare older stands that have never been logged, outstanding coho salmon streams, and excellent recreation opportunities including fishing and hunting for local Oregonians. Under legacy state policies, the Elliott is mandated to provide timber harvest revenue for schools, but logging has declined in recent years to protect rare species such as murrelets and spotted owls. We now need to disconnect school funding from old-growth logging on places like the Elliott, and keep the forests intact and public.
Governor Brown has put forward a bold plan to keep the Elliott in public hands and protect important older forest stands while fulfilling our obligation to school children. Treasurer Read and Secretary Richardson have weighed in with public visions of their own. The coming months will see a delicate melding of these proposals and we’ll need your help. So, stay tuned.