Tuesday, September 14, 2010
POLK COUNTY -- The Oregon Board of Forestry on Sept. 8 approved the exchange of state-owned forestland located in Polk, Benton and Lincoln counties for similar amounts of privately owned forestland in those counties.
The land exchange involves about 1,904 acres of state-owned land and 2,095 acres of forest owned by Starker Forests Inc.
The land values, including harvestable timber, are approximately equal, according to an independent appraisal by Duck Creek Associates, a natural resource consulting firm out of Corvallis. Third-party assessments also were conducted for sensitive plant, fish and wildlife habitat on affected forest lands. Oregon Department of Forestry completed an assessment of recreational values.
The acreage in Polk County is 396 acres of state land -- including 40 acres of Common School Fund land -- and 329 acres of Starker land.
The 40-acre parcel under Common School Fund ownership proposed for transfer from the Department of State Lands to Starker will be reviewed by the State Land Board this fall.
The Board of Forestry voted unanimously to approve the land exchange, with board member Gary Springer abstaining due to his employment with Starker Forests.