About the Elliott State Forest

Approximately 90 percent of the Elliott State Forest’s 91,000 acres are a land asset of the Common School Fund. The act of Congress admitting Oregon to the Union in 1859 granted land to our new state specifically for the use of schools.

Oregon’s school lands are required – as a condition of their granting and by our state constitution – to benefit schools. As a result, there is limited flexibility in how the Elliott State Forest and other school lands are managed.

Since the forest was established in 1930, revenue from timber harvest has been the primary way the forest contributes to the Common School Fund. Before 2013, the Elliott generated millions of dollars from harvesting on average about one percent of the forest per year.

Since July 2012, because of harvest limitations prompted by a lawsuit over federally protected species, owning the Elliott has cost Oregon schools over $3 million. The forest is projected to continue to lose money because of these restrictions.

The Elliott State Forest Public Ownership Project seeks a solution that will address the financial impact to the school fund, while also achieving the other elements of the Land Board vision.

Elliott Dropbox Materials (via DSL)

Meet the Team

Forest Management Plan (FMP)
Purpose: The development of the FMP is managed by the Oregon State University core team (below) with content and input from working groups composed of OSU and UO scientists, as well as independent contractors. Find more information about the Forest Management Plan.

  • Shannon Murray, Project Director
  • Jennifer Bailey-Guerrero, Project Coordinator
  • Katy Kavanagh, Associate Dean of Research
  • Molly Siewell, Administrative Assistant

Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Development Workgroup
Purpose: The development of an HCP is managed by DSL consultants at ICF with Oregon State University participation. Find more information about the Habitat Conservation Plan.

  • Troy Rahmig (ICF)
  • David Zippin (ICF)
  • Steve Hall (ICF)
  • Craig Hansen (independent consultant)
  • Gordie Reeves (OSU)
  • Gretchen Engbring (OSU)
  • Deanne Carlson (OSU)

Financial & Carbon Modeling Workgroup
Purpose: Workgroup will produce a strategy and scoping document that assesses the potential to monetize available carbon on the Elliott. Articulate the steps needed to implement a plan that would contribute to a financial model that will create a self-sustaining research forest that is decoupled from the common school fund. Convened by Oregon State University College of Forestry, and composed of internal and external experts.

  • Tom Tuchmann (US Forest Capital, lead contractor)
  • Mark Rassmusen (Mason Bruce & Girard)
  • John Sessions (OSU)
  • Chuck Kerchner (Spatial Informatics Group)


DSL formed an Advisory Committee to provide insight and input on the research forest idea. The committee, which represents a variety of perspectives on the forest, began meeting in April 2019. The committee will continue to meet as work to finalize research forest details continues.

Upcoming Advisory Committee Meetings
See 'Happening now' section on the main page for current Advisory Committee meeting information

Upcoming Workgroup Meetings
Informal workgroups meet to discuss specific topics, including developing a legislative concept for an independent public entity to own the forest, and developing a forest management plan. Workgroup meeting notes, including links to meeting videos when available, are here.