Governor Kate Brown ceremonially signed Senate Bill 1546, the Elliott State Forest Bill, at the Department of State Lands. The Governor was joined by fellow State Land Board members Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and State Treasurer Tobias Read, along with legislative leaders and members of the Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee.
Senate Bill 1546 will implement the State Land Board’s vision to keep the Elliott State Forest in public ownership and preserve it for future generations for conservation, economic growth, recreation, education, and forest research. Since 2017, the Department of State Lands has worked with Oregon State University, the Legislature, Tribal representatives, and a diverse group of Oregon stakeholders in a far-reaching collaboration to develop the plan to transform the Elliott into a state research forest.
“Together, we have found a way to sustain the Common School Fund and keep the Elliott State Forest public, all while protecting the Elliott's diverse habitats, guaranteeing long-term public access to the lands, and keeping a door open for economic opportunity for the South Coast,” said Governor Brown. “The Elliott State Forest will have a lasting legacy as a research forest that will contribute so much to the development of knowledge around forestry and environmental stewardship.”
“The Elliott State Research Forest will provide infinite opportunities to understand and address so many of the challenges facing Oregon and the world -- particularly climate change,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “In addition to making a significant and final contribution to the Common School Fund, creating this world class research forest will allow us to continue working in partnership with the original people of this land, Oregon tribes.”
“The formation of the Elliott State Research Forest shows that Oregonians can come together, work around a common vision, disagree passionately about details, but still find a way to compromise and reach an outcome that represents a real win,” said Treasurer Read. “When we step outside of our silos, we can do big things here in Oregon.”
Source: Oregon Governor's Office