Two new members of Oregon’s State Land Board voted Tuesday to move forward with the controversial sale of a state forest. The vote came in spite of opposition from Gov. Kate Brown.
State Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson voted yes to an amended version of the sale proposed by Read.
The state put the Elliott State Forest in southwest Oregon up for sale because it wasn’t generating enough income for public schools. Only one bid came in – led by a timber firm.
Read’s amendments would give the state the option of using $25 million in bonds to buy back a portion of the forest for conservation.
Brown wants to find a way to keep the forest in public ownership. She isn’t giving up. After the vote, Brown directed the staff of the Oregon Department of State Lands to continue pursuing an option that would allow the state to keep the forest.
She called for staff to report back at the next meeting of the land board.
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