This is my first diary. So I am still feeling my way here. I wanted to write tonight to let others who may be interested to know that the State gov't of Oregon is thinking of selling off the entire Elliott State Forest. All 90,000 acres of it. The state just auctioned off about 2700 acres as a sort of test run. Now they are considering selling it all.
Let that sink in. Selling off public land. Privitizing the public land; a space for wild plants, animals, fungi and other organisms and where people go to fish, hunt, hike, and reconnect with nature. The more I think of it, the angrier I get. There is some beautiful land there; it is mostly forest that grew up after a terrible forest fire in 1868. The forest is nearly a century and a half old, biologically rich and hosts endangered creatures such as the marbled murrelet. Headwaters of coho and steelhead streams flow there. The land is likely to be sold off to timber companies, who will promptly clear cut it. No more murelets, and the salmon streams will be choked with silt.
Sadly, in the state's eyes, the Elliott is required by law to turn a profit for the state school fund. But because of environmental issues and lawsuits, it's lost money rather than 'earned' it. It infuriates me that turning a profit is the only perceived and legal value of the forest in the state of Oregon. And it may well happen - 2700 acres have already gone through the auction process.
I'll watch and see if and when a new comment period comes up at the State Lands board on the sale. If it does - please help, and flood their site with comments that NO we should not sell this biologically rich land! If they can't hold it as property assigned to schools, transfer it to a different agency, or better yet back to the original owners from whom it was stolen - the Coos & Lower Umpqua people.