The state has sold $100 million in bonds, kickstarting a process to decouple the Elliott State Forest from a state fund for education, State Treasurer Tobias Read said Thursday.
The Elliott is currently required to generate money for K-12 public schools through the Common School Fund, and in recent years state officials have come close to selling about 82,500 acres of the coastal forest because of reduced timber harvests on the land.
The bond money will, effectively, allow the state to eventually free the Elliott from its money-making obligations.
In February, the State Land Board — the governor, treasurer and secretary of state — approved a memorandum of understanding with Oregon State University to come up with a plan to turn the land into a research forest, according to a press release from the state treasury this week.
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