A Guide to Public Comments:
Send public comment by October 10th to the Department of State Lands to oppose the privatization of the Elliott State Forest.
Sending public comment is easy, quick and one of the most effective things you could do right now to effect the decision of the State Land Board. You simply send your opinion via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered.
The State Land Board is preparing to make a decision on December 9th on the future of the Elliott State Forest. Among six options, complete privatization is on the table, as well as a state buy-out option that could return the forest into the hands of the community. The most critical thing that any Oregonian can do to effect this decision is to make a public comment.
Tell the State Land Board that you oppose the privatization of the Elliott, that public land is valuable to you and you don’t want it to be sold. Tell them you support the Public Agency Transfer, which would turn the Elliott into a Forest Reserve.
Here are some arguments you could make in your comments:
– The Elliott is home to the federally listed Marbled Murrelet, Northern Spotted Owl and Coastal Coho Salmon. Selling the forest to a timber company will turn it into a tree farm and will critically endanger the habitat of these species between 1997 and 2012 22% of Coho Salmon returning to the region were linked to the Elliott; every year, more than 40,000 Coho can be attributed to the Elliott’s rivers and streams.
– Public land is important for hunting, fishing, recreation, carbon sequestration and the conservation of biodiversity in coastal rainforests.
– Many of the proposed alternatives for Elliott management continue to fund education through logging. Is this a situation that you are interested in seeing persist? Tell the Land Board you would like to see state funding for schools decoupled from timber harvest.
– The argument for privatization only takes into account revenue made from cutting timber. Are there no other sources of funding for education? Does the Oregon economy run on timber? Is that the only future for Oregon’s economy?
– Is the only value of a forest in how much money it is worth?
Please write comments to the State Land Board and keep up with the news about this forest. We are at a critical point, where the next few months will set the course for the Elliott’s fate for a long time to come. Help us protect this ecosystem.