elliott state forest

Cassandra Profita / OPB

The 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest in southwestern Oregon may be staying in public hands after all. Treasurer Tobias Read, who cast a crucial vote last month to proceed with the sale, announced Tuesday that he sees a "path forward" for keeping the forest in public hands.

Three top elected officials in Oregon are now embroiled in a messy political struggle over whether to privatize an 82,500-acre state forest near Coos Bay.

The infighting among Gov. Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson — the three members of the State Land Board — is highly unusual in a state dominated by Democratic officials who tend to prize cooperation over confrontation.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The future of America’s public lands has been a focus for debate recently. A federal bill this year would have transferred 3.3 million acres of federal land to the states. It was withdrawn earlier February, due to objections both sides of the aisle. But that doesn’t mean the issue is settled.

Oregon's State Forest Sale Moves Closer

Feb 14, 2017
Oregon Department of Forestry / FLICKR Creative Commons

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.

There's about one month remaining to submit proposals to buy Oregon's Elliott State Forest. The Oregon Department of State Lands said so far, no one has expressed interest in the 82,000 acre property in southwest Oregon.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A large state owned forest in Oregon might end up in new hands.

The State Land Board endorsed a proposal Tuesday to transfer ownership of the Elliott State Forest. But it's not clear who the new owners would be.

The Elliott State Forest in southwest Oregon is supposed to be managed to bring in as much money as possible. And that money is supposed to go to public schools. But the forest is actually losing money in the wake of restrictions on logging.