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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.

Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day

Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo

Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds

Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons

Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds

Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach

Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds

Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex

Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-28
Lane Events Center

Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center

Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds

Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds

Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds

Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair

Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds

Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds

Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds

Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds

Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds

Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex

Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds

Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds

Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds

Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds

Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center

Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds

Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds

Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds

Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds

Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center

Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR

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Common Sense Needed Moving Forward on the Elliott Research Forest
Giesy Plan Alernative promises hope for all sides

The sale of the Elliott State Forest, which “decoupled” it from the Common School Fund, it has a long ominous history. The 2022 Senate Bill 1546 that sold the Elliott school lands to itself, is pending a ruling from Honorable Judge Andrew Combs in the Civil Complaint Case No. 23CV39056 in Coos County Circuit court by Advocates for School Trust Lands (Advocates).

Advocates state, “The assumption that decoupling the forest from the Common School Fund could nullify the state's trust obligations to the common schools, as proposed in SB 1546, is at best ill-informed and at worst criminal. The irrevocable Oregon Enabling Act mandates that its terms are binding on both the United States and the State of Oregon.” They further state that it is impermissible for a trustee to purchase assets from the trust, creating a breach of trust by SB 1546. If the court invalidates the sale, it equates to breaching the state constitution.

In 1859, at statehood, Oregon was allocated more than three million acres of school trust lands. In 1930 the Elliott, Oregon’s first State Forest, was created by trading scattered parcels remaining from trust land sales for an 82,500-acre block in Coos and Douglas counties that remained in an irrevocable trust managed for the benefit of the Common School Fund. Several wildfires had reduced the older stands to under 160 years old so there is virtually no old growth. It developed into a hotbed of activism and lawsuits, so that the past 10 years there has been zero sales resulting in an overgrowth, increasing the fire risk.

The controversy surrounding the management began in 1989 with the discovery of the spotted owl within its mostly second growth trees. It was the beginning of the federally mandated HCP (Habitat Conservation Plan), followed by an environmental lawsuit stopping all harvesting in 2012. What once provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Oregon schools, was now costing money. In 2017 the Elliott Forest was valued at over $1 billion, but sold for $221 million due the severe market restrictions. In 2022, the legislature made it a research forest to be managed by Oregon State University that would raise revenue by selling carbon credits. However, OSU didn’t agree on selling carbon credits nor did they agree with the HCP plan restricting harvest. Along with tribal concerns, OSU completed its commitment in 2023 delivering the final draft of an Elliott State Research Forest Management Plan to the Oregon Department of State Lands, and backed out of managing the forest. That currently leaves the forest in the hands of the Department of State Lands (DSL) and cancels the creation of a new Elliott Research Authority state agency.

The State Land Board is holding on to preserving the Elliott as a research forest and holding meetings to manage the forest through a provisional board of directors. They requested $4.4 million in SB 5701 to administer the program. Management under the board should result in a smaller budget and allow the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) plan to move forward under the OSU proposed research plan, which divided the forest into three kinds of management units: 66% is allocated as reserve forest, 17% is extensive forestry or ecological forestry developed by OSU with small patch cuts on a 60 year rotation, and 17% clear cuts in 60 year rotations.

There are drawbacks to the OSU plan that over time result in 73% of the forest getting older and 50% will continuing to get older increasing fire risk without management. There is a complex research overlay on the forest. which has morphed into a somewhat cooperative system. The tribes would like to see more management in the reserve areas. Over time roads will be removed in the reserve areas. HCP has an 80-year growth plan and protected species will remain even if the HCP is removed. It is a stronghold for federally listed marbled murrelets, northern spotted owls, and Coho salmon.

All the money coming from timber sales goes back into research in the Elliott Forest, which the Advocates are claiming should go to schools. Right now, the wildlife conservationists seem to be leading the conversation, “if you don’t buy into the plan, don’t be on the board,” said Bob Sallinger, retired Audubon Director. But the conversation is still open. Senator David Brock Smith defends the program as the best scenario to at least get between 17k-22k board feet cut per year, which is better than no harvest. But, that isn't viewed as proper management by Bob Zybach Ph.D, Environmental Scientist.

There is a push for a new direction that would encompass all ideas and resolve the pending court case. Zybach, has worked with Wayne Giesy, David Gould, and Jerry Phillips on the 2017 Giesy Plan Alternative to sustain the Elliott, and to focus on scientific testing of HCPs before they are adopted on any state or private lands. They have produced solid numbers to prove their plan and say road maintenance and timber sales can begin immediately. “As a PhD with some expertise on the topic, I can state with some certainty that HCPs are a purely political process and need to be scientifically tested before causing any more damage to our forests and rural economies,” Zybach says. He is calling for the Elliott Forest to be redirected to the Oregon Department of Forestry to resume management for the purpose of meeting legal obligations to the Common School Fund and to local communities.



The basic research design of the “Giesy Plan Alternative" is the paired watershed approach that OSU and ODF successfully tested on Roseburg Forest Products land on the North Umpqua. The key components of the Giesy option are that the Elliott will remain in public ownership with public access for 20 years until better informed decisions can be made regarding its longer-term ownership and management; that 40,000 acres be set-aside as “old-growth habitat” for research, education, aesthetics, and endangered species; and that 40,000 acres be actively managed for continued Common School Fund benefit, with timber sales averaging 50mmbf/year creating — by State economist estimates -- 430 needed rural jobs and $440 million for our schools. This is only 2/3 of the Elliott's annual growth of 75 mmbf/year and is the same number used in the 1988 Elliott Plan when trees were a lot smaller and 35 years younger. At the present time there is more than 2.3 billion board feet of timber on the Elliott based on the 2016 cruise, plus eight years of growth since.

All 550 miles of existing roads and trails will be maintained for safety, research, recreation and education. Research and education focus would be on carbon sequestration; spotted owl, marbled murrelet, coho, lamprey, and pine marten habitat and populations; economics; forest recreation; and forest management, and conducted locally by high school and community college students and statewide via accredited online studies. To develop accredited online courses, the Giesy Plan expands into a network started by the 501 c(3) educational nonprofit, Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. (ORWW) that has completed more than 40 such projects over the past 21 years conducting historical and fisheries research and working with local students and educators on the Elliott. The intent is to continue work with Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) and local high schools with a focus on the Elliott. “In that regard,” Zybach says, “we have promoted the Elliott State Educational Forest as an ideal outdoor classroom for research, education, and Common School Fund income for all Oregon students.”

The components would be the 24 named creek subbasins on the Elliott, as shown on the map. The operational approach would be to systematically select two adjacent subbasins from each of the four principal coho runs (Umpqua, Tenmile, Haynes, West Fork); one to be left “as is” — but with roads and trails maintained for public access, research, education, and recreational uses — and the other to be clearcut to the water’s edge from ridgeline to ridgeline for comparative analysis of economics, wildlife populations, water flows, wildfire risk, biodiversity, and aesthetics.

Zybach states, “The Giesy Plan would be experimental, educational, and economic in scope and would only last 20 years, at which time the results could be carefully analyzed and used as the basis for future management directions and options.” In the meantime, the plan will rescue rural communities out of sure poverty, and in the long run will settle the HCP debate for state forests with significant research to test HCPs for western Oregon. You can show your support by contacting the State Land Board, or emailing Arin.N.Smith@dsl.oregon.gov.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-02-24 08:46:37Last Update: 2024-02-24 15:59:37

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