Three Oregon environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue timber companies and stop them from logging on three parcels of the Elliott State Forest.
Seneca Jones and Scott Timber bought the parcels from the Department of State Lands for a combined $4.2 million in April despite a promise of legal action from environmental groups over the existence of federally protected marbled murrelets in the parcels.
“These parcels, which once belonged to all Oregonians, should never have been sold in the first place,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland, in a press release. “Now that they’ve been sold, we’re not going to allow them to be clearcut and contribute to the extinction of the unique marbled murrelet.”
Prior to winning the bid for the parcels, Kathy Jones, who co-owns Seneca Jones, acknowledged clearcuts would take place and said the bid was meant to challenge environmental groups. “Clearcutting mimics nature,” Jones told Earthfix. “If these lands are awarded to us, and we maintain them as we do all of our private timberlands, we will be clearcutting and replanting Douglas fir.”
In December, the State Land Board approved the sale of five scattered tracts in the forest through an open competitive bid process, with a total of 2,700 acres.