Elliott State Forest
In December 2018, the State Land Board directed DSL and OSU to begin examining the Elliott State Research Forest concept. DSL and OSU then launched an exploratory process. DSL convened an Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee, and OSU established an exploratory committee within its College of Forestry. DSL and OSU also engaged tribes, local governments, state agencies and stakeholders in conversation, and held public events and listening sessions. Additionally, the research forest concept was incorporated into the in-progress habitat conservation planning process. 
An update on progress made was presented to the Land Board on December 10, 2019.

The Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee also delivered a unanimous statement to the Board recommending that work continue. Read the Committee statement.   

The exploratory work will continue during 2020, with a research forest proposal anticipated to be presented to the Land Board in the fall of 2020.  A successful proposal will be consistent with the Land Board vision for the forest, which includes:

  • Keeping the forest publicly owned with public access
  • Decoupling the forest from the Common School Fund, compensating the school fund for the forest and releasing the forest from its obligation to generate revenue for schools 
  • Continuing habitat conservation planning to protect species and allow for harvest
  • Providing for multiple forest benefits, including recreation, education, and working forest research

To assist with this work, OSU has established a Science Advisory Panel to "work to ensure the vision and goals of the research charter, and associated research design, will position the Elliott State Research Forest as a world-leading source of scientific knowledge and discovery to advance the study and practice of forestry."

To learn more about the process led by the State of Oregon Department of State Lands, please visit the Elliott State Forest website.

Additional information is also included below.

Elliott State Research Forest Listening Sessions Summary - June 4-6, 2019

2019 Elliott State Research Forest Feasibility Study - College of Forestry Work Plan

This document outlines the key processes that the College will undertake to determine the necessary terms for a proposal to create an Elliott State Research Forest.


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Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee. 

DSL has formed an Advisory Committee to provide insight and input on key elements of a proposed plan. The committee, which represents a variety of perspectives on the forest, began meeting in April 2019. Committee Roster 

Past Advisory Committee meeting summaries and materials:

               April 10, 2019

               May 1, 2019

               May 30, 2019

               June 25, 2019

               July 30, 2019

               August 22, 2019

               September 25, 2019

               October 24-25, 2019

               November 8, 2019

               November 21, 2019

               April 17, 2020 


Project Documents (via DSL and OSU)

OSU Listening Sessions: Summary
DSL Response to Recent OSU Harvest in the McDonald Forest
Oregon State University College of Forestry Seeking Qualified Consultant for Carbon Assessment & Financial Modeling for an Elliott State Research Forest
Oregon Department of State Lands and Oregon State University Memorandum of Understanding
The Oregon Consensus Report on the Elliott State Forest: Next step considerations for decoupling from Oregon’s Common School Fund
Oregon Consensus Report Comment Summary and Complete Comments Received
November 2018 Potential public owners of Elliott State Forest asked to indicate interest
August 2017 Memo to State Land Board

2018 Financial Analysis Presented to DSL Advisory Committee

About the Elliott State Forest 

Approximately 90 percent of the Elliott State Forest’s 91,000 acres are a land asset of the Common School Fund. The act of Congress admitting Oregon to the Union in 1859 granted land to our new state specifically for the use of schools.  

Oregon’s school lands are required – as a condition of their granting and by our state constitution – to benefit schools. As a result, there is limited flexibility in how the Elliott State Forest and other school lands are managed.  

Since the forest was established in 1930, revenue from timber harvest has been the primary way the forest contributes to the Common School Fund. Before 2013, the Elliott generated millions of dollars from harvesting on average about one percent of the forest per year.

Since July 2012, because of harvest limitations prompted by a lawsuit over federally protected species, owning the Elliott has cost Oregon schools over $3 million. The forest is projected to continue to lose money because of these restrictions.

The Elliott State Forest Public Ownership Project seeks a solution that will address the financial impact to the school fund, while also achieving the other elements of the Land Board vision.

Elliott Dropbox Materials (via DSL)

OSU Exploratory Committee

Katy Kavanagh (committee chair)
Shannon Murray
Meg Krawchuk
Ashley D’Antonio
Matt Betts
Klaus Peuttmann
Ben Leshchinsky
John Sessions
Jenniffer Bakke (Chair for the Fish & Wildlife Habitat in Managed Forests Research Program and Environmental Services Manager with Hancock Forest Management)
Clark Binkley (Chair, Advisory Board, OSU Institute for Working Forest Landscapes)

Habitat Conservation Plan Development

Troy Rahmig (ICF)

David Zippin (ICF)

Steve Hall (ICF)

Craig Hansen (independent consultant)

Gordie Reeves (OSU)

Gretchen Engbring (OSU)

Deanne Carlson (OSU)

Financial & Carbon Modeling

Tom Tuchmann (US Forest Capital, lead contractor)

Mark Rassmusen (Mason Bruce & Girard)

John Sessions (OSU)

Chuck Kerchner (Spatial Informatics Group)

Science Advisory Panel

Jennifer Allen, Portland State University; Panel Convener and Associate Professor of Public Administration
Cassandra Moseley, University of Oregon; Senior Associate VP for Research and Innovation and Director of Ecosystem Workforce Program, Inst. for a Sustainable Environ.
Eric White, US Forest Service; Research Social Scientist
Gwen Busby, GreenWood Resoures, Inc.; Director of Economic Research
Linda Nagel, Colorado State University; Department Head, Professor of Silviculture
Mark Swanson, Washington State University; Associate Professor, School of the Environment
Matt Sloat, Wild Salmon Center; Director of Science
Ryan Haugo, The Nature Conservancy; Director of Conservation Science
Serra Hoagland, US Forest Service; Liaison Officer (Biologist)