On Tuesday, the State Land Board took historic action toward creation of the Elliot State Research Forest. A release from the Department of State Lands said the board decoupled the forest from Oregon’s Common School Fund and appointed the first board of directors for the new public agency to be established in 2024. It will oversee the research forest in collaboration with Oregon State University. ODSL said as an asset of the Common School Fund, the Elliot – located in Douglas and Coos counties – was continually caught between the financial obligation of the forest to support public schools and the forest’s potential to provide benefits beyond harvest revenue. Tuesday’s decoupling vote – made possible by a payment of $221 million to the Fund – frees the forest of its historic obligation to generate revenue for K-12 public schools.