EVERGREEN MAGAZINE FEATURED ARTICLE

God, Family, and The Elliott - Jerry Phillips: 1927-2022

For as long as there will ever be an interest in Oregon's first State Forest, the Elliott, there will be an appreciation of Jerry Phillips.

Jim Petersen -
20 MINUTE READ
God, Family, and The Elliott - Jerry Phillips: 1927-2022
The Elliott State Forest 1930-2022

Many Oregonians do not understand or appreciate the statutory role timber growth and harvest from state-owned forests have played in rural school funding for more than 160 years. Here is a short primer.

The federal government awarded Oregon 3.4 million acres of Public Domain Land when it became a State on February 14, 1859. At that time, Congress was actively promoting capital investments in budding communities and economies in the West.

Per the state constitution and subsequent legislative action, these acres were placed in a dedicated trust, known as the Common School Fund, that is still in force today. The fund distributes harvest revenue to schools and other units of county government that lay within the forest.

Managing these lands is the responsibility of a three-member State Land Board [SLB] that includes the Governor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State, respectively and currently Kate Brown, Tobias Read, and Shemia Fagan.

Over time, a significant amount of this 3.4 million-acre award was sold, traded and/or logged for the benefit of schools. The 91,000-acre Elliott was designated in 1930 as a means of consolidating scattered parcels…


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