For Sale: Cheap! Oregon State Forest Land — Get It Now!

Now you, too, can own your own personal piece of Oregon State School Fund Forestland — but hurry! Only five days remain for you to buy one of these fine forested tracts in claimed prime marbled murrelet nesting country. Also — you might even be able to kill an elk on your own property, or have someone else pay you for trying to kill one themselves. On your property!

This is being posted at the request of John Thomas, Jr., a regular contributor to this blog. The deadline of the sale is March 28 and the details (including a fine collection of aerial photos and maps of the properties) can be found here: http://www.rmnw-auctions.com/auction-catalogs/1401-auction-catalog/

I will leave it up to John to explain why this is such an important topic, and what the marbled murrelet has to do with current timberland prices on these lands. Also, his predictions as to what will happen to the trees after these sales.

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17 Comments

  1. I am going to bet the state will sell it to a timber company and the timber company will log it.
    More land for the private forest industry and less for our schools. Good job Oregon Wild and all you Riverkeepers!

    • Hi Bob:

      According to the activists largely responsible for this sale, they’re not going to let “big timber” buy and log. Might have to go through third-party hands first. This just in from today’s paper in Roseburg:

      http://www.nrtoday.com/news/Activists warn ‘big timber’ to leave Elliott State Forest alone10669252-113/timber-state-forest-elliott

      Christina George
      cgeorge@nrtoday.com
      Follow Me

      Anti-logging activists say they would physically block timber harvests on Elliott State Forest parcels sold by the Department of State Lands.

      Cascadia Forest Defenders, in an open letter addressed to “big timber” Monday, said protesters “will not respect new property lines, signs or gates.”

      “If timber companies are buying this, they are not just buying a piece of land they can log, they are buying a giant controversy with a large and unified movement encompassing a spectrum of tactics and a spectrum of people,” organizer Erin Grady said Tuesday in an interview.

      Three other groups last week threatened to sue any timber company that bought pieces of the Elliott, a 93,000-acre forest between Reedsport and Coos Bay.

      The twin warnings aren’t likely to discourage timber companies from bidding, Douglas Timber Operators Executive Director Bob Ragon said today.

      “We’re a mature industry. We recognize the hazards, and we’ll conduct our operations in full compliance with the laws,” he said.

      The Department of State Lands will go ahead and open bids March 28 despite the threats of lawsuits and blockades, the department’s assistant director, Jim Paul, said.

      “We can’t control how other folks are going to react to this sale,” he said.

      The State Land Board — made up of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and Treasurer Ted Wheeler — decided to sell 2,738 acres to make up a $3 million deficit in the Common School Fund.

      The shortfall opened after the state curtailed logging because of lawsuits filed by environmentalists.
      In its message to timber companies, Cascadia Forest Defenders accused the State Land Board of “trying to wash their hands of the Elliott.”

      “If these forests are privatized, we know what the outcomes will be. We have seen the way that private timber companies have destroyed the land they own,” the letter states.

      The group charged the land board with not caring about residents of Douglas and Coos counties “who are sick of seeing the hills above their homes yarded away to a timber mill while their counties grow poorer.”

      The activists promised to disrupt operations.

      “Do not bid on these sales. If you become the owner of the Elliott, you will have activists up your trees and lawsuits on your desk. We will be at your office and in your mills.”

      Said Ragon: “I think it’s kind of an affront to be threatened like that.”

      “Who do they think we are? Hooligans running around the woods with chain saws cutting down trees without regard for the environmental consequences?”

      Cascadia Wildlands, Audubon Society of Portland and the Center for Biological Diversity have threatened any timber company that buys a piece of the Elliott with litigation. The groups claim logging would harm marbled murrelets and violate the Endangered Species Act.

      Cascadia Forest Defenders’ tree-sitters have been effective in stopping since June the 187-acre White Castle timber harvest on Bureau of Land Management timberlands east of Myrtle Creek.

      Grady declined to comment on whether tree-sitters have remained there since Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands sued in January to stop the timber harvest.

      Cascadia Forest Defenders has staged previous anti-logging protests. Tree-sitters were arrested in the Elliott three years ago when state forest managers proposed increasing annual timber harvests.

      The state will open bids this month for the 788-acre East Hakki Ridge in Douglas County and the 355-acre Benson Ridge and 310-acre Adams Ridge Tract 1 parcels in Coos County.

      The state plans to auction off another 1,300 acres within the Adams Ridge parcel in the fall.

      •You can reach reporter Christina George at 541-957-4202 or at cgeorge@nrtoday.com.

  2. The use of surrogate species to gain dominion over land and landscapes is the crux of ESA and its application. The Elliott State Forest in Oregon, 90,000+ acres in one block, was created by a land trade with primarily the Siuslaw Natl Forest, in a process that exchanged Common School Lands, secs. 16 and 36 in each township when surveyed and opened for entry, all a part of the Oregon Statehood Act. The objective was management ease for both parties. Access, road easements, need to survey, all were eased by the land exchange. The goals were to have a sustainable logging program to provide for the common good and the building of America.

    Common School Lands (CSL) exist and are mandated to be used, in Oregon, to fund the Common School Fund, which is permanent and only the interest and earnings can be used to provide for the common education in Oregon. In reality, it is not a huge sum, and now a pittance in the overall State schools budget. However, the lands exist, and are the charge of the State Land Board which is the Governor, the Sec of State and the State Treasurer. The State Attorney General is not a part of it, I would guess, because that office has to defend or prosecute on behalf of the SLB. In Oregon, those offices have been held by Democrats for almost three decades. A working lifetime in early retirement staff jobs associated with those elected officials. The Governors, all Democrats since 1988, appoint all the members of boards, commissions, and people to agency management jobs in the State. Political patronage is rampant. It appears this Elliott State Forest will be lost due to attempts to save the trees which are renewable, sustainable, grow from seed to maturity and someday die. But a Forests is a political boundary around trees, and if the trees can’t support the forest, then the forest will be lost. Or so it seems.

    The political party in power is and has been a friend and ally of all things environmental. They take the political donations to run for office from that segment of the voting public. As a result of using charismatic critters for ESA surrogates to lock up land, environmental allies with the Democrat Party found a winner in marbled murrelets, a very small seabird that is not able to sustain itself against larger birds in communal shoreside and near shore aviaries and refuges. Instead, the bird flies inland to find a large limb on a tree, a platform of some sort under the canopy of limbs, on which to lay a solitary egg. Corvids are the major predator. So studying murrelets most often leads to the crows, jays, ravens, having their curiosity aroused by a human in the canopy looking for the nest, and if found, of course the corvids will predate the nest of its egg or fledgling. The blame is then placed on “fragmented forests” (of course, all of this happening in a 100-150 year old burn that resulted in a stand removal fire where the immediate past history is of no green trees of size to have the limb diameters or witch’s broom to become a nest platform.) Add spotted owls, coho salmon and the end result is the school forest is now off limits to logging, a step down in a vastly reduced timber selling program by policy from the present Governor in his last iteration in that job. With no income, and within the State finances, no ability to mine money from any other sources to provide protection for the forest, the only now available course for the SLB is to sell the land, including the trees and associated habitat.

    If the supposition is that the land cannot be logged, how much will it bring at auction, or even bring a bid? I don’t think that is a matter that can be criticized or even germane to the discussion. In an open auction, the market will determine the value. Those bidding are not dolts or uninformed. Capital takes risk, and gets rewards or a financial beating. The issue, after all, is that it is ESA habitat and off limits while in government ownership. How the issues are addressed when or if it becomes private property are probably one of many balls in the air. Nevertheless, the Democrat dogma of environment, their fealty to the radical left of any cause, has them now forced to sell the crown jewels, one lot at a time. The school managers are selling the school’s milk cow in order to buy milk for the students, because the school board and PETA decided that the school couldn’t sell bull calves that would go to slaughter, nor could it sell manure which is toxic and untreated waste, nor could it sell excess milk because it does not meet the standards for farm sold milk. The by product sales used to buy the hay and grain to feed the cows, pay the herdsman. With no money to feed the cows or pay the herdsman, they have to be sold. No good intention goes unpunished. And the State Land Board in Oregon now must sell the very land it was to preserve and nurture to fund education for all. How sad, really.

    Meanwhile, one state to the north, the economically much more successful State of Washington, continues to sell timber from their State and School Lands, lands called DNR lands. And it continues to lease over a million acres of range, farm, irrigated farm, and submerged lands for agriculture and mariculture. Evidently, the succession of Democrats leading WA have not yet seen it proper to cut off their noses to spite their faces. WA has enough DNR money, most of the time, to pay for all new school construction, or at least the most of it.

    If the timber from State lands issue were just constrained to Common School Lands in Oregon, the problems wouldn’t be that deep. However, during the Great Depression, wholesale early 20th century timberland speculation had left a lot of timberland owners unable to pay property taxes as there was so little demand for lumber. Land foreclosed for failure to pay property taxes became a huge problem for some counties. They had too much land and no income. The Legislature came up with a solution by which they would take the deeds to that land, and in exchange they would manage the land for timber, and when they sold timber, split the gross revenue 35% to the State Dept of Forestry and 65% to the county in which the land lays. That program worked because soon WWII timber demand sky rocketed and so did value, and did so for decades until the far reaching litigants using Federal Legislation concerning Clean Water, Clean Air, ESA, and other laws, so diminished the State’s ability to sell timber that the State no longer generates the funds needed to keep them in the management business. And the counties are getting little money, as well, when social costs are rising due to unemployment, including loggers. Of course, public employee pension guarantees and needed infilling of those funds to meet legal requirements has taken all the new money generated in the Oregon taxation system for most of a decade, and did so a decade before that. Money invested in markets goes up and down, but pension demands only rise. Oregon limps along, the major services provided citizens are social safety net programs that are the biggest item in the State budget after education, which also gets property tax money as well as income tax money. So money to fund State Forestry is not going to be increased when schools are getting less money to pay higher labor and benefit costs, and counties have little to tax.

    The issue facing counties, their not getting any timber money nor tax money from a million acres, is being discussed by a committee of county commissioners. I look for those lands to simply be returned to the counties. Let them deal with the litigation and management headaches. The leading advocate for change in State Forestry and its outcomes is a Tillamook county commissioner and former legislator, and a Democrat. Life will be interesting in Oregon in the near future. When you add the timber debacle for local governments, the corner into which their friends in the environmental radical left have put the three top elected state officials, and the absolute disinterested Governor’s oversight of the vaunted and Federally funded $300 million “CoverOregon” internet access fiasco, I have grave doubts about State management of anything. The elected malaise that birthed the “Keep Portland Weird” slogan has seeped into all facets of life in Oregon. Not only is it now weird, it is also radically dysfunctional.

    The very real lesson from the advertised sale of Oregon state owned timberlands is that you actually can devalue those lands by environmental advocacy to where they lose all the protections fought for. I wonder about the mindset that uses law to back someone into a corner, and then objects when they use the law to escape. That a lawyer says the land can’t be sold is just not true. I would offer that the State has an Attorney General who says it can be sold and I assume drew up the contract to buy it from the SLB. The real estate auction company has invested money and time in the effort, all the while vetted by their legal advisors who told them that it can be sold. The intent of Congress was for the land to be sold or otherwise turned into a source of funds for education, thus relieving Congress of having to tax and budget to fund education for States as they came into the Union. Let the States use the land we dedicate to State ownership, for education, is the presumed intent of Congress. Not unlike the Land Grant University program and concept. Don’t spend Georgia Federal tax money to pay for Oregon education. I understand.

    My point is to beware of what you accomplish from litigation. The result can be far from the intended outcome. I am sure the green side in no way wants these public lands sold. If there is no money to support and police them, if they don’t pay taxes or in lieu taxes, governments can no longer afford to own them. With no legal or presumed use to add value to the public treasury, no government can long afford to stay in the land management business if it costs them real money. We are seeing that with wildland fire issues, with fuel reductions issues, with road issues. In this particular case, the option to sell is being exercised. It could be a harbinger.

    • Thanks for writing the editorial comment for this post, John. It’s a pretty long read, but you make several excellent points. I’d encourage others on this blog to read what John has written on this topic and perhaps Comment themselves on some of the key points.

  3. I’m sitting here, a fresh southerly blowing in a storm, with now intermittent sun and rain, showers and wind gusts. Spring. The whirlygig out the window is cutting wood like mad. And resting between gusts. I was digesting all the threats from the radical left protectors of Gaia. They do sound unhappy about the results of their attempts to protect the Elliott.

    I thought about Winston Churchill speaking of defending Britain from the Nazi Hitler, no matter if he came by sea, by air. Britain would fight them on the beaches, etc. etc. And I got a grin on my face thinking about a BLM sale Diamond B had years ago on the backside of Mary’s Peak that drew a tree sitter and a BLM minder for her. The cutters by day carefully fell the trees around the occupied tree, going about their work in a craftsman’s orderly fashion. It was early fall, and the timber stand was 100 year old second growth, tall and dense, maybe 3 and a half forties tall. Of course the occupied tree was mid stand, and certainly did not spend a century growing wind firm, as it was protected by its cohorts. But once its cohort guards to the south and west were horizontal, the winds had their way with the tree. An early fall southerly came in the night, and the tall, limber, white barked second growth doug fir “sitter” tree and platform began the elliptical path of resistance and rebound in the increasing winds. The platform began to fly from side to side, and the piss bucket flew off, and the food, and the poor girl in the tree was howling louder than the wind in the dark, no doubt hanging on for dear life. Not much anyone could do but wait to daylight and then send a climber up to rescue her. They did. She was.

    Somewhere out there is a forty or fifty something former tree sitter who had the ride of her life one night in Oregon’s coast range in an abbreviated career as a tree sitter in a buggy whip “old growth” doug fir. I am grinning because I sort of know how she must have felt.

    Once, many years ago, I rode the pass line up a sitka spruce the climber was rigging for a spar pole. I stomped my feet to set my gaffs, and then roped in and was soon helping the climber manage 1 and 3/8″ guy lines to the sleeves, to then hang them and snug them up on the steel tree plates. In some spastic move only a dumb kid can make, my dull, cast off gaff on one leg didn’t go through a bark platelet, and I ended up with one leg above my now downward facing head and the other flailing in space. I was scared spitless. The wind was blowing, and the tree was only partially guyed, and in SE Alaska, spruce trees standing alone on a pie plate root wad can fall over if an errant woodpecker hits them too hard on one side. My desperate concern was having two feet on the ground, ASAP. O wanted out of that tree!! The climber maneuvered and kept me from a face first ride down to where the rope would squish me, hopefully before I did a face plant onto granite with some moss on it. Most trees were growing on a nurse log, and a clear cut looked like a cypress swamp after logging in Louisiana. I made it upright and safely down the tree in the pass line and chain, and have never been up a tree since. Been there. Done that. Am deeply scarred by the last experience, an experience I would think the once young tree sitter can relate to when she was more than a hundred feet up that buggy whip of a tree on a dark and windy night in Oregon’s coast range. Ride ’em, Cowgirl!

    • JTjr

      🙂 Reminds me of when I was a young kid who liked to climb up to the top of the Sycamore tree behind our house when the winds picked up. I was about 50 feet up with my hands around the 1.5 diameter bole. Mom, would holler for me to get down Right! Now! to which I would reply “I can’t hear you, the wind is blowing to hard” 🙂 Believe me, there is a loving God.

  4. I always get confused about public land. I am always thinking that state, county, federal land means it belongs to the people. And since in belongs to the people the people should have some say on how it is managed. The people of Oregon I don’t think would decide to sell some of their forest lands. I don’t remember voting to sell off some of our state forest land. I don’t think we decided that it shouldn’t be managed for timber production either.

    • You missed the point, greens have devalued this land by lawsuit forcing the land board to realize ths value by selling it. And I would agree that is inherently stupid.

      Take a look at the greens in Portland, they forced this on the state and the land board has reacted, it’s their fiduciary duty. Sad situation.

      If you

  5. Certainly the land is public, but only for a specific use. Once the use was precluded, and the value diminished, the same laws, from “the people” (these are not administrative rules from a tyrant, after all, which we see so many of today) by their elected representatives in this representative democracy (which the majority is fond of pointing out), all the other options were no longer there. We are talking about progressive liberal Democrats who get all the green lobby money at election time. Certainly they are not happy that this is the only path the State Land Board can take.

    You cannot fly your flag over 92,000+ contiguous acres and not incur costs of protection and care taking. The State Land Board, in Oregon, has a $3,000,000+ deficiency in money to pay the Elliott State Forest’s bills. People, their pensions and insurance, need to be paid. Materials need to be purchased. Just to have fire patrols and the due diligence of having the charge of those lands costs money. There is none. The very land itself is to provide for its upkeep. That has been precluded by historically recent NGO and tax free donations to litigate against any logging in the name of species protections, and the protection of air and water. They prevailed in court. They won. But they didn’t win title to the land.

    The State Land Board is to make money for the Common School Fund. That is their job. They, and legal advisors, have determined that is no longer possible, so to pay the bills land must sold. The State Land Board did not bring this to bear. At the urging of Governor Kitzhaber in his former iteration as governor, the SLB reduced the annual harvest to <25% of the growth, which in financial terms, was a sustainable flow of income. It paid the bills and was adding to the Common School Fund all the while having a very light hand on the land. Single species ESA litigation, in a State that now forecasts it might have as many jobs as they had 7 years ago, if we can wait for another year at least. Oregon will be maybe economically back to 2007 by 2015. The annual costs of tending to land went on all that time. The costs of government have escalated in just the wage and benefit packages by collective bargaining. None have been able to collectively bargain for higher wages for private sector work or for business profits or expansion. Tax revenues have risen to the point the State had close to $2 billion more for education in the last budge, and still a 1000 teaching positions had to be pared.

    So push came to shove, and the only path is for this sale of land and timber.

    This is NOT the will of Oregonians across the breadth of the landscape. Thinking people regard this is a stupid outcome forced on Oregon by zealots without a dog in the fight of State government or paying a dime in taxes. This is the will of a concentrated urban majority who want to live in a high rise condo and use the public lands as their open space. However, with no ability to pay for that type of amenity, that burden will have to be borne by the 60% of Oregon that is Federal Lands. The fops and swells donate their charitable gifts to NGOs to sue to stop logging. They have. They won. Now the land will be sold.

    There as an additional million acres of public timberland in Oregon, most owned by the State. They were established from Depression Era foreclosed lands held by counties. More than a third were from abandoned Tillamook Burn private lands from the 1933 fire and the 1939 fire. The rest were lands bought on speculation which lost their value in Depression, but still owed property taxes. They were not paying taxes, and the counties were paying school teachers and deputies with script which would be redeemed when some property actually sold for real money on the courthouse steps. That seldom happened. So the Legislature (the people) created a deal where the State would take title to the foreclosed land, and manage it for timber using University created modern techniques and philosophies. The State would sell timber, grow timber, protect timber, and when State timber was sold, the gross revenue would be split 35% to the State of Oregon, and 65% to the county in which the timber was from.

    That worked until Oregon became an urban majority, and of course, cutting trees to fund counties left out half the counties who were not in the program, and "the people" were the whole state. So the litigation and loading the Board of Forestry with progressive urban liberals has resulted in timber sale revenues not equal to the task of the State's 35% being able to pay the bills. So the counties are also getting a pittance. It has taken years for trees to grow to merchantable size. The litigators of all things environmental descended State timberlands. Now the State has not enough to pay the bills, and the fops and swells in town are really proud of themselves. County commissioners have a committee now meeting regularly to decide the path forward. The most likely one is for the land to be returned to the county of origin, for the county's use and payments of costs to own and manage. Of course, the public employee unions are in an uproar over a proposed loss of jobs. The fops and swells are in an uproar because they will lose dominion over land where they don't vote. And of course, the greenies are threatening all manner of lawsuits, of which lawyers say they will have no standing in which to litigate.

    The issue is pretty darn simple: those who don't want to have one tree cut, anywhere, the True Believers, have put themselves in a corner. When you get to that kind of mindset, Kool Aid should never be approached, even if you are really thirsty. The Environmental alchemy that produces the mindset that 8 billion souls can exist without using fire or combustion, cannot and should not cut another tree, has yet to produce a real world viable result. If you don't burn the landscape to retard brush and tree growth, cut down some trees, where exactly can you plant hemp?

    • JTjr

      Thanks – well said

      On Linked-in, someone from England said: ‘What we have learned over here is that a forest that pays is a forest that stays’ – And I’d add that even the advocators of false sciences like the “just print more money monetary theorists” and those whose “ignorance of the role of forests as the keystone species in forest ecosystems” will eventually find the truth in that quote from England.

  6. I called the State Land Board to ask about bids on the three Elliott State Forest Common School Land parcels up for sale. Bids were taken through fri 28 Mar. 2014. Three parcels had minimum bids in the prospectus of $1.8 Million, $610,000 and $595,000. All they would tell me is that they had 5 bids and they were looking at “contingencies.” Evidently not your normal bid process. But, 5 people/entities have put in bids for one or more of the parcels. Now we wait to see how this all washes out, this bidding on timberland embargoed by ESA issues and promises of rigorous protests and evidently, occupation of mill operations, offices and the actual land that is sold. All at a time when the local police have had to lay off officers because of no public land timber sales and a huge reduction in revenues, PILT payments, to counties. We live in interesting times. It is an election year. This will be an issue, I am sure.

  7. http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/04/seneca_jones_bids_on_elliott_s.html#incart_m-rpt-1

    You have to hand it to the Jones girls. They are not going be intimidated. In fact, it appears that they threw the gauntlet of discord right back at those who say they will trespass, occupy and generally disobey the law. All of which, of course, puts their political supporters in a position between a rock and a very hard place. Chits will be called.

    We must not lose sight of the real problem: where to get the money to afford a 90,000+ bird refuge and to afford to grow the Common School Fund? I would suggest that if the issue is about money, why not tap the Land/Water Conservation Fund, the money the Feds collect from off shore drilling? Former Senator Baucus did that while the Senate Finance Committee Chair, as he rigged the deal for Plum Creek to sell the Feds and other governments over 350,000 acres of checkerboard timberlands in western Montana, AFTER Plum Creek has logged the land over a period of 15 years. And to boot, since Weyerhaeuser had yet to become an REIT, sent them a nice little tax deal worth $172 million. Now that Oregon’s Senator Wyden is the Senate Finance Committee Chair, it would follow that he can play the game tit-for-tat. Baucus sent a morsel to PCT in the name of reducing inholdings in the National Forest lands, by removing those lands while exercising the required and needed real estate selling option that drives the REIT tax class. Thus PCT would gain latitude to keep making lumber in Montana. Weyco was in the process, at the time, of converting to an REIT and felt PCT was getting Senatorial favoritism and a monetary benefit, unfairly, so Baucus made it “fair.” Wyden can do the same thing. That path has been paved by the success of Baucus, now our Ambassador to China. Wyden can use his position to buy the whole of the Elliott, and put it into the Federal monopoly of timberlands in Oregon, and then open up the full extent of the O&C revested railroad lands, a preponderance in a vast checkerboard with private lands, to logging and forest land management as they were intended to be in the first place.. Those lands were supposed to be private and would have been if the O&C Railroad has followed the law. Instead, they saved the land with the best timber, and were going to be a timberland operator. The General Land Office went after them, and prevailed. The Congress kept the lands to feed timber to smaller mills and companies. Steinbeck talked about that, the “best intentions…”, which in the O&C deal did go astray.

    Of course, the issue of selling timber to smaller companies from the Federal Lands has long been a bone of contention with the MegaPulps and MonsterTimberlandOwners. They were precluded from Federal timber purchase by the SBA set aside program which was the Sen. Wayne Morse deal to prevent a monopoly. The “averaging” deal, where you have $1/mbf stumpage of your own to log, and you can buy $100/mbf Federal stumpage, and have a $50.50/mbf average stumpage cost, and limit competition and still be wildly profitable. Happens all the time. Today that is how High Tech works, and why they buy smaller companies daily.

    The final result was the MegaPulps were the secret admirers of the protesting Left and having little or no Federal timber on the market for more than two decades has certainly been a boon to their fortunes. And now they have the ability to pass income taxes on directly to stock holders, as well as dividends, and all those five or more generation timber trust puppies are doing good, and some of the “good” is making charitable donations to “save the environment”, now that they have gotten their gains from a century of land abuse on private lands. A tax deductible donation, I might add. Fightin a tax free opponent who has the taxing Feds on its side is tough row to hoe.

    So I find it interesting that the Jones Girls are ready to stand toe-to-toe just to champion the logging and milling industry as rightfully being a part of the economic success Oregon now needs. They have bought a pile of ground since the Feds quit selling timber. And will buy more as profits permit. They have struggled and spent, to become ultra efficient, in the way of their father Aaron and his right hand guy, the late Whitey Howard. They had a plan. They have survived and prospered. And with no help from GMC like “TARP” support. Seneca Jones has been built on courage and brains. This will be an interesting tiff to watch.

    The State of Oregon got backed into a corner by the Green Left. The State Land Board has now only one option and that is to sell land to fund the Common School Fund. I would offer that if the Greenies are so inclined, that they ought to put their fighting money into a plan to buy the whole salami, in one parcel, with Other People’s Money, preferably from out of state or from donations, trusts, foundations, payroll check offs from public employee payroll, and not the Federal Treasury, and then give the land to USFWS for a murrelet and other ESA listed species refuge. And then find a way to protect it from bugs, fire, and wind, using money from other states. Off the tax rolls, as it is now, it is nothing but a bag of liability and a direct mechanism to provide rural poverty and economic malaise. Let it cost the People of the United States, at the least, to have and to hold. No more of this indentured servitude to the ESA at single state expense. YOU want it, YOU buy it!! The money will do well in the Common School Fund, and the earnings will do well funding schools and the future for children.

    • I’ve always felt the same way about the “Save the Redwoods” efforts, especially by celebrities. Certainly a handful of them could afford the minimal costs of buying the lands outright, even at a premium price. When those folks make $20,000,000 per movie, even when it bombs, you’d think that if the trees were THAT important to them, they would just BUY them. After that, they could donate the lands to whatever group they want, getting a big tax write-off. They need to put their money where their mouths are.

    • John:

      Regarding “the Jones girls,” I just came across this post from nearly a year ago: http://senecasawmill.com/news/2013/senecas-new-ad-campaign-breaks/

      It will be interesting to see what the State does with the bids that have been entered. It also looks like Seneca is going to start taking a higher profile role in this debate, which could also be interesting. It really is good to see responsible landowners stand directly up to overt public threats such as these — threats which have been backed by actions over the past few decades — rather than have to call in the law against vandals or trespassers, or defend themselves in court over “science” issues.

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