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Chairman Ingersoll Addresses Bid on Elliott State Forest

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians have entered into a unique partnership with Lone Rock Timber Management Company to acquire and manage the Elliott State Forest.
Located near the coast in Douglas and Coos Counties, the Elliott State Forest lies at the very heart of our ancestral territory. After years of operating losses, this 82,500-acre land sale would return approximately $220.8 million to the Common School Fund where it will help support Oregon’s public schools.
It wasn’t our idea to sell the Elliott. But we knew the State Land Board was serious about selling, and we knew there would be at least one bid. So if the forest was going to be sold, the Council felt it was crucial that the Confederated Tribes have a meaningful say in how these lands, resources, and uses were protected.
Under the proposal submitted on November 15, 2016, the Confederated Tribes would hold a perpetual conservation easement which gives legal protection to buffer zones on spawning streams, to more than 20,000 acres of logging protection areas, and to at least 41,250 acres of public access lands. Under our proposal Lone Rock Timber Management Company and their investment partners would purchase the land, and commercially manage the forest to provide much needed jobs and economic benefits to our region. The landowners would also guarantee funding to meet all the Confederated Tribes’ stewardship obligations and duties in perpetuity.
The Conservation Fund, a highly respected national non-profit organization, would provide support and advice to the Confederated Tribes in our role as land steward. Additional advisory support has also been offered by The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde, Dr. John Gordon (Pinchot Professor Emeritus of Forestry and Environmental Studies at the Yale School), the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The Oregon Department of State Lands will now review our plan. On December 13, 2016 the State Land Board will receive the staff report, take public comment, and make a decision.
If the State Land Board accepts our proposal, the Confederated Tribes will begin the important work of nailing down the details over the coming year. The work still ahead is for our staff, working with our elders and with the project partners and advisors, to craft a conservation easement that fully protects the land, air, water, wildlife, traditional uses, and cultural resources that have always been ours to protect.
I believe we can feel good that the Confederated Tribes have played a key role in helping to bring together this extraordinarily capable group. Together, we are working hard to ensure that the Elliott State Forest will be responsibly and sustainably managed by and for Oregonians who live, work, and recreate in the local community.
As is fitting, this unique collaborative effort affords a special role to the Confederated Tribes in recognition of our proven capabilities, and because of our deep ancestral and stewardship ties to this land. Protecting the Elliott is an enormous responsibility, but we are more than up to the challenge. If you have other questions or concerns, please contact me at (541) 888-9577 or toll free at (888) 280-0726. Elliott Forest Acquisition Plan

Chairman Mark Ingersoll

  • Elliott State Forest Photo from Oregon Department of Forestry via Flickr