The Gilchrist State Forest south of Bend is adding nearly 29,000 acres. The Board of Forestry approved completion of the multi-year acquisition Wednesday.
Legislators first approved the purchase in 2010. The State acquired 43,000 acres that became the first new Oregon State Forest in 60 years. At the same time, The Conservation Fund bought about 25,000 acres directly adjacent with the intention of eventually selling it to the Oregon Department of Forestry. ODF spokesman John Pellissier says they aren't usually in the habit selling or purchasing land.
Pellissier: "We might exchange a parcel to block up some of our ground but typically we do not sell forest land. As far as acquiring it, this is a very new thing for the Department and a very successful program for Klamath County, and the first time it's been done in a number of years."
Pellissier says the purchase will help create jobs through forest management, and increase revenue to support public services and wildlife habitat. The final acquisition will increase the total size of the Gilchrist State Forest to approximately 72,000 acres.
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