2019 SWOCC Elliott State Forest Draft Recreation Plan

RECOMMENDATIONS: Elliott Recreation Timeline Priorities

By Sebastian Bartlett

Fig. 3.2. Third Senate Bill Reading, “Jerry Phillips Reserve,” Salem, May 27, 2019. Jerry Phillips and Bill’s sponsor, Senator Arnie Roblan. Photo by Stephen Fitzgerald, OSU Research Forests.

Students recommended improvements that require immediate attention, as well as potential sources of revenue for the Common School Fund. Students were encouraged to recommend when these actions should occur, either immediately or short and long term.

The Common School Fund needs to maintain its properties for the safety of its users. Continued use without maintenance and management will lead to further degradation of this asset.

Recreational activities in the forest would help finance the Common School Fund or at least help to alleviate the costs of recreational opportunities. Primary funding is found in the Elliott’s timber stocks and capability to continue growing new trees for eventual harvest. A tourist attraction could be the fact that the Elliott is a working forest, working directly for Oregon’s school children, and that it has 550 miles of historic roads and trails for management access, education, and recreation.

Here is a prioritized summary of the 2018 and 2019 SWOCC F251 student recommendations:

Immediate Action

This summer

Next year

Long Term

Directional signage

Road and trail inventory

Hiking, horse, and ATV trail planning

Develop trails and campgrounds


Road maintenance

Campsite inventory

Fishing and hunting improvements



Visitor Surveys

Local schools and businesses involved




Educational signs and guided tours

Table 6.2. Prioritized Timeline of Recommendations, June 21, 2019.

For recreation to occur and be promoted in the boundaries of the Elliott, signage was the primary recommendation. This is the same as last year and is being recommended again because no signage has been installed or planned.

We recommend that first signage be made a priority. For interested parties to pursue development in the forest they must to be able to navigate the Elliott. Right now, this is very difficult due to no road signs, an extensive historical road system and outdated maps. A few signs at key points would go a long way toward helping emergency response teams find people in distress, as well as encourage recreation. Funding for signage should come immediately from the Common School Fund.

Secondly, the group recommended various permits for harvest and access that could generate revenue directly for the Common School Fund and maintenance of the forest, as well as gather user data and regulate access. These permits could limit use in certain areas adding to their value or generate income from current harvest practices of berries and mushrooms and game.

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