State board: Timber sale approved

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- After hearing from the public, the Oregon State Land Board has voted to recommend the sale of nearly 2,700 acres of Elliott State Forest.

800 acres are in Douglas County.

With the recommendation from the board, the 5 tracts of land can move forward through an open competitive bid process.

Douglas County Commissioner Susan Morgan says it's a good first step in putting more loggers to work. "That's going to help establish what the value of the land is," she said. "I think in order for the land board to move forward, that is one of the basic pieces of information that needs to be in place."

Money generated from this sale will go to the common school fund, which is distributed among public school districts in Oregon. "It's a courageous action on their part," she said.

The move was a blow to conservation groups that attended the hearing in Salem.

Francis Eatherington of the group Cascadia Wildlands, says they are worried about the forest being decimated. "To sell them at a competitive bid really raises the likelihood that they'll be clear cut, and that's just not fair to the Oregon public."

Morgan says none of it is a done deal. "I think we need to wait and watch the process work and see what the outcome of it is," she said.