Bird spotted, drops timber land value $18 million

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The discovery of a threatened bird in the Elliott Sate Forest in Coos County has drastically lowered the value of three tracts where logging is now in doubt.The Oregonian reports state appraisals dropped from $22 million to less than $4 million after a marbled murrelet was spotted last summer by state surveyors and volunteers with the Coast Range Forest Watch, a conservation group that opposes the timber sale.The state appraisal dropped dramatically because only a small portion of the land could be thinned or logged since the bird was found to be living on the land, decreasing the profit possibility of the land.The murrelet is a threatened seabird species that nests in large trees.The state uses timber revenue from the Elliott State Forest to fund public education.