The Elliott State Forest needs your help! We’ve stood up for the Elliott time and time again, banding together to protect this priceless old-growth forest from being illegally logged and sold to private timber companies. Now, the State Land Board is discussing next steps for designating the Elliott as an OSU Research Forest, and we need your help to make sure their plan is as strong as possible! Send the State Land Board a message before their meeting, next Tuesday, December 8th.
Designating the Elliott as a Research Forest would have a lot of benefits. The plan would permanently protect 90% of the mature forest in the Elliott, and 66% of the forest as a whole. It would create a 34,000 acres contiguous reserve, the largest in the Oregon Coast Range. It would provide strong protections for riparian areas, which are crucial for endangered coho salmon that rely on clean, cool streams. And it would give the forest time and space to grow: in 50 years, 70% of the Elliott would become mature forest, compared to just 50% today. The plan would also allow for more opportunities to hike and enjoy the Elliott.
But, while this is a good start to the plan, there is important work still to be done. The plan needs more of an emphasis on climate resiliency and research, especially with wildfires and drought growing more extreme. And the Land Board’s plan needs to be coupled with a federal Habitat Conservation Plan to protect endangered species like the marbled murrelet. We also want to make sure that there are future opportunities for public input, and strong accountability, transparency, and enforceability mechanisms in the plan. Will you send an email to the State Land Board, and tell them how important it is to include these additions as they move forward with the plan?
The Elliott is a special place that belongs to all of us. The Elliott contains some of the most intact stands of mature forest left in the Coast Range and provides important habitat for elk, salmon, spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and more. We need to make sure that the Elliott is protected and sustainably managed, so both wildlife and people can enjoy it long into the future. Please send an email today using our online form, and make sure your voice is heard before the State Land Board meeting on December 8th.