Oregon may sell forest to benefit schools

The Elliott State Forest, north of Coos Bay in this photo from the Oregon Department of Forestry, April 12, 2014
The Elliott State Forest, north of Coos Bay in this photo from the Oregon Department of Forestry, April 12, 2014

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon will consider selling the whole Elliott State Forest, where legal battles over logging and protections for threatened species have reduced revenues for schools.

Jim Paul, assistant director of the Department of State Lands, said Friday the forest has turned from an asset into a liability, costing the Common School fund $3 million last year. He says the state has a responsibility to see if it can turn that around.

He adds that selling off the whole 90,000-acre forest is just one in a spectrum of possibilities.

The Elliott is north of Coos Bay. It includes some the last older forest in the Coast Range, making it a battleground over logging and habitat for protected fish and wildlife.

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