The professional agitators and their litigators finally got what they wanted down in the Elliott State Forest, and they're "outraged":
This year, after decades of conflict over the management of the Elliott, a lawsuit filed by conservation groups resulted in a steep reduction in logging on the Elliott State Forest to make sure marbled murrelets were protected as required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. As a result, the Department of State Lands says, the Elliott no longer produces enough revenue to the state to cover the costs of managing it.
The state says it lost $3 million in one fiscal year — even though the Oregon Constitution directs the State Land Board to manage its land holdings to generate money for public education. That prompted the state to begin exploring options for selling some of the land.
Earlier this year, "Coast Range Forest Watch" sent out some of their volunteers to "survey" around the Elliott, and they say that they saw some marbled murrelets in a parcel of land there. As a result, state-hired appraisers dropped the value of that plot from $22 million to $3.6 million. And boy, does that ever have the agitators' panties in a twist:
“For the competitive bid to start at that extremely low price is unconscionable,” says Francis Eatherington, conservation director of Cascadia Wildlands.
Eatherington and others have raised concerns that a timber company could acquire the land for a bargain and then log it in spite of the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against killing protected species.
The constant litigation and protests by the professional agitator crowd convinced the state to get out of the timber business down there and essentially forced them to look at selling some of the forestlands to cover their losses. They got what they wanted: the state's not auctioning any land in Elliott State Forest, and now the agitators are all jacked about that. They're bringing out their favorite boogeyman, the "greedy timber companies" - most of whom they've run out of business during the past 30 years.
They've destroyed the economies of the southwestern Oregon counties in the process as they accuse others of "greed", they've got the state out of auctioning (and managing) timber sales in the forest, but the agitators still aren't happy because somehow, somewhere, somebody might actually be able to eke out a living in some part of what they believe should be a big, untouched, park. There's just no pleasing them; they get what they wanted, then demand more.