The fate of the Elliott State Forest, a sprawling, 93,000-acre forest northeast of Coos Bay and home to some of the oldest trees on the coast, is the topic of a Nov. 17 public forum hosted by Cascadia Wildlands. About half of the Elliott has already been logged, and for the remaining half, Cascadia Wildlands believes in preserving the land instead of privatizing and selling it.
The Oregon State Land Board will discuss the Elliott’s future next month.
“We’re trying to galvanize Oregonians,” says Josh Laughlin, campaign director at Cascadia Wildlands. He says he hopes this event will “educate the public and activate them around the issue.”
The event will feature a panel of experts familiar with the Elliott. “We would like the public to be more informed about what they have,” says Francis Eatherington, conservation director at Cascadia Wildlands and panel member at the event. For example, forests like the Elliott “have the potential to sequester more carbon per acre than any other place in the world, including tropical rain forests,” Eatherington says.
Kelsey Reavis, also on the panel, says she is “someone who spent much of their childhood there” and her family owns land in the area. She volunteers with Coast Range Forest Watch doing surveys in the Elliott for the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird found in coastal forests. “It’s really amazing to be out in the forest that early in the morning,” Reavis says about the pre-dawn surveys.
The forum is 7 pm Monday, Nov. 17, at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave, moderated by EW’s Camilla Mortensen.