At least two things have contributed to the rush to do something to raise more money for Oregon public services – namely under-funded K-12 education and the failure of Measure 97 earlier this month.
It’s no secret that Oregon’s funding for it’s schools is embarrassing low for a state that calls itself smart and progressive. Its schools rank very low in terms of academic quality and have the low education budgets to prove it.
A primary source of revenue for Oregon schools that doesn’t come from taxes is proceeds from the Common Schools Fund – supported largely by timber sales from state-owned timberlands. Since timber sales are down substantially (China isn’t buying a lot of raw logs these days) the state is up against the wall on school funding from those lands – including the Elliot Forest lying southeast of Lincoln County in Lane and Douglas Counties.
Since the state isn’t selling timber, it’s now considering just selling off the land in one fell swoop – thereby pocketing a sizeable sum of money that will help boost the education budget – but only “for a while.”
But there are also concerns about the habitats of such endangered species as the Spotted Owl, coastal coho salmon and other critters that call the Elliot Forest their home…muddy waters for sure filled with probable lawsuits that could drag on for years.
Against this backdrop, the Oregonian just did a quick overview of all this and you can read “the rest of the story” by clicking here.