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Act Now: The Elliott State Forest is on the Chopping Block!

We need your help right now to stop the State of Oregon from selling off 82,000 acres of public forest to a private timber company.

Act Now: The Elliott State Forest is on the Chopping Block!

Northern Spotted Owl by Scott Carpenter

We need your help right now to stop the State of Oregon from selling off 82,000 acres of public forest to a private timber company. 

Several years ago Portland Audubon and other conservation groups successfully sued the State of Oregon to stop wide scale illegal logging on the Elliott State Forest. The State agreed to stop but then it turned around and put the forest, our forest, up for sale.

At last month's State Land Board meeting, State Treasurer Tobias Read joined Secretary of State Dennis Richardson in voting to move the current privatization proposal forward to be considered for approval at the Land Board’s April meeting. The vote for privatization of public lands by Treasurer Read is incredibly disappointing, especially as Governor Brown’s new vision, to maintain public ownership and work with the Tribes to regain ownership of their ancestral lands, has been proposed. Take action by contacting the State Treasurer and your elected officials today.   

Three Ways to Take Action

1. Call these important elected officials today. Below their names, see important talking points for each official. 

State Treasurer Tobias Read: (503) 378-4329 
Urge him to pull his support for selling off the Elliott and that instead he should join the Governor and other stakeholders on working on a public solution for the Elliott that will benefit Oregonians now and into the future. Additional talking points below.

Governor Kate Brown: (503) 378-4582
Thank her, and ask her to continue showing leadership by promoting a public solution for the Elliott. Additional talking points below.

House Speaker Tina Kotek: (503) 986-1200
Politely ask the House Speaker to join with the Governor to work on supporting a public solution with public funding in the current legislative session. Additional talking points below.

Senate President Peter Courtney: (503) 986-1600
Thank him for showing personal support for the Governor’s proposal for the Elliott and ask him to help support a public solution with public funding in the current legislative session. Additional talking points below.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson: (503) 986-1523
Express to him the importance public lands have for all Oregonians and that the prudent fiscal decision would be to keep the Elliott in public ownership. Additional talking points below.

Contact your representatives and tell them action is needed NOW to keep the Elliott State Forest public.

Key Talking Points to Legislators: Keep the Elliott State Forest Public
Contact your representative and tell them action is needed NOW to keep the Elliott State Forest public. When speaking to your elected officials, speak from the heart, personalize your concerns, and be polite. If you can’t reach anyone in your representative's office, leave a message with your contact information. 

  • Keep it public
  • The forest needs protection
  • There are other viable options
  • Action is needed now - Support a public solution and urge State Treasurer Tobias Read to do the same

Keep it Public
Keeping public lands in public ownership is a foundational issue for the conservation community, one whose importance cannot be overstated. Additionally, hunters and anglers rely on access to public lands, especially on the central coast where private land dominates the landscape and is often off-limits.

The Forest Needs Protection
The Elliott is home to numerous imperiled species of birds, salmonids, and other wildlife. It contains some of the last remaining old growth in the Oregon coast range and is a massive carbon sink. Clean water, rare habitat, and aquatic ecosystems are reliant on a protected, intact forest. The sale of the forest to a private timber company could seriously threaten these values. 

There Are Other Viable Options
Other options are on the table, including the governor’s public ownership framework, and a Trust Lands Transfer Bill introduced by Senator Arnie Roblan earlier this session, SB 847. It is important to support these and other efforts in the legislature in order to decouple old growth logging from funding our kids’ education and keep the Elliott in public ownership.

Action is Needed Now: Support a public solution and urge State Treasurer Tobias Read to do the same
Protection of Public Lands is a critical issue for conservationists and those who enjoy outdoor recreation throughout Oregon. While our Federal Lands in the West are increasingly under threat from a nationwide movement to privatize, it is unacceptable for our local leaders to consider selling off the Elliott. Instead, the time is NOW for the State Land Board and the legislature to take the lead this session to find a solution that keeps the Elliott public.   

2. Then Write to the State Land Board

Click here to tell Governor Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson that we will not accept the privatization of our public lands.

3. Attend Upcoming State Land Board Meeting on April 11

Attend the upcoming State Land Board meeting for the Elliott State Forest to let Governor Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson know that the public wants a real solution for the Elliott that keeps it in public ownership, decouples school funding from forest management, and permanently protects the mature forests of the Elliott and the Spotted Owls, Marbled Murrelets, Coho Salmon, and other wildlife who depend on them.

When: April 11, 2017 at 10 a.m.
Where: Department of State Lands 775 Summer St. NE Salem, OR 97301
Transportation provided. Please RSVP to reserve a seat: staylor@audubonportland.org

Opportunity for public testimony is likely, but it is also important to attend to show support for potential alternative plans that may be presented. Please wear green to show solidarity for a conservation solution. 

Located in the Southern Oregon Coast Range, the Elliott is an 88,000-acre state owned forestland. It contains more than 41,000 acres of mature native forest and some of the most productive and pristine streams for Coho and Chinook Salmon. The forest provides a stronghold of critical habitat for federally threatened Marbled Murrelets and Northern Spotted Owls, especially among the fragmented private forests of the Oregon coast range.

We need you to contact our state leaders right away and urge them not to tarnish their legacy and to find a solution for the Elliott that keeps it permanently in public ownership and protects its natural resources. Urge them to go back to the drawing board and, through the legislature, transfer the Elliott into a Trust Land, keeping the forest in state ownership.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Elliott and the importance of its habitat for imperiled species.

Read more about Portland Audubon’s work to protect the Elliott and how years of unsustainable logging and illegal management by the State have left half of the forest clear-cut and the State Land Board considering liquidation of the entire public forest.

Elliott State Forest by Tim Giraudier
Elliott State Forest by Tim Giraudier
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