Oregon Land Board Low-Balls Elliott Timber with Fixed-Price “Bidding”

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

On July 27 the Oregon Department of State Lands announced the “fair market value” of 82,450 acres of Common School Trust Lands within the Elliott State Forest as $220.8 million. The number was picked by Roger Lord of the consulting firm Mason, Bruce & Girard after analyzing three different professional appraisals. Proceeds from the land transfer will go to the Common School Fund and be invested for the long-term benefit of public school students.

At a public meeting held in Salem, the Director of the Department, Jim Paul, reiterated that anyone hoping to acquire the 82,450 acres must offer exactly $220.8 million. Any offer above that will be considered “outside the protocol” and deemed “non-responsive.” This announcement was the latest step in the Land Board’s plan to dispose of the Elliott property in a non-competitive bid process.

The Land Board has invented a “fair market” value of the Elliott timberland without allowing a market to actually function. The price investors are willing to pay might be higher than $220.8 million, or even multiples of that number. Unfortunately, we’ll never know because the Land Board is refusing to take competitive bids. Clearly, this is a breach of fiduciary trust. Public school students, teachers, and parents deserve to get top dollar in this once-in-a-lifetime sale of a public asset.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon Secretary of State, Portland Schools, State Treasurer, Timber | Tagged , | 1 Comment |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • thevillageidiot

    lots of questions. what does public use mean? Older timber commands much higher prices so if the state established price includes the appraised value of the “old growth timber” where is the profit? 200M may may be too high for profitability. how does the state know 40 jobs is the correct number for the market? maybe the forest will only support 10 – 20 jobs, assuming full time,for 10 years. does this include potentially an increased number short term for the harvest? or is that included in the 40 jobs. this goes hand in hand with the stupid setting of the minimum wage. only business knows how to set the market price. Are they afraid someone like Weyerhaeuser will buy it? But all the progressives like it. gives them all a warm fuzzy feeling they are preserving the forest,animals, endangered species, family fun well less family fun because humane activity drives away the wildlife and adversely affects wildlife so no humans. But the state knows all and therefore should run all commerce. worked well for the soviet union for about 70 years. Then collapse. we need more dummycrats running things. So far the progressives are batting a high average, failed Oregon health care web site, potentially increased fines for using the US system, increased health care costs, premiums are increasing for all Oregonians, increased minimum wage which will stagnate job growth and remove employment opportunities for low skill and first time workers, failed gun control law entrapping innocent victims trying to do the right thing. There is no leeway for doing the right thing because how can you tell the difference between that and the criminal activity. just how stupid is the typical Oregon voter? we will see in November.

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