Keep the Elliott Public

Keep the Elliott Public

After intense pressure from sportsmen and a shift in legislative strategy, Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read said last week that he now supports keeping the Elliott State Forest in public hands. 

Read was a vital vote in the effort to sell the 82,500 acre forest for $221 million sale to Lone Rock Timber Management and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. With Governor Kate Brown and Read now publically supporting keeping the forest, the board of three, which includes Republican Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson, now has a majority in favor of the Elliott. Richardson has stated he continues to support the sell-off.

While Read contends that this is not a reversal in position, noting his position was always to hold up his fiscal responsibility to the school fund, sportsmen are breathing a sigh of relief to have a way forward on the Elliott that does not include its wholesale disposal.

“We understand the state has a responsibility to make money off the land for the Common School Fund,” said Dean Finnerty, southwest organizer for Trout Unlimited. “But selling off public lands was never the answer. They’re not making more land these days. Hunting and fishing are a way of life in this area and the Elliott is a centerpiece for that heritage. We’re impressed with Read’s willingness to look at all solutions and support his and the Governor’s efforts to keep these public lands in public hands. We are seeing assaults on our lands across the country and as sportsmen, we’re proud of our local elected officials for coming to the table and working out difficult issues rather than taking the easy way out.”

Comments

 
said on Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Folks out west are fortunate to have the public land access  they do and it's great to see them standing up for it, because once it is gone, it is gone.

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