State Forests

The Tillamook, Clatsop and Elliott State Forests are amazing public forests that provide important habitat for a wide array of species including federally and state listed Northern Spotted Owls, Marbled Murrelets and salmon. They clean our air and water, store carbon and provide amazing recreational opportunities. However, these public forests, managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry, have also suffered from decades of mismanagement and industrial clearcut logging that has put wildlife populations in jeopardy, polluted streams, increased risk of forest fires and landslides, spread a web of logging roads, and reduced recreational opportunities.

Bird Alliance of Oregon has worked for decades to promote ecologically responsible management of these forests.

Photo by Tim Giraudier

Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests

The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests are less than an hour west of Portland and cover more than a half a million acres. Much of this area was burned in a series of forest fires beginning in 1933. Most of the Tillamook and Clatsop have been logged within the past century.

 The Board of Forestry adopted the 70-year Western Oregon State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in 2024 which directs Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to manage 43% (275,000 acres) of their upland habitats in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests as “Habitat Conservation Areas” (HCAs) which are to be managed for complex, multi-layered forest with large trees to provide suitable habitat for listed species. The HCP also sets aside 35,000 acres as “Riparian Conservation Areas”, stream buffers designed to protect against negative effects from increased sedimentation and stream temperature and protect listed aquatic species. While these protections are not ideal (e.g. best available science calls for wider riparian buffers) it is a compromise and better than the status quo. HCPs are currently under federal agency review to ensure that management activities comply with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act to protect listed species such as Northern Spotted Owls, Marbled Murrelets, and salmon. 

The HCP is under threat by the logging industry and others to reject or weaken it. Despite HCP protections, there are still some harvest practices employed that are not compatible with its goals. We need to continue public pressure to call off harmful logging sales, incorporate climate smart forest practices, and work toward bolstering recreational opportunities to support a thriving local economy. .

Elliott State Forest

Located near Coos Bay, the 93,000 acre Elliott State Forest contains more than 41,000 acres of untouched mature and old growth forest. It provides critical habitat for Northern Spotted Owls, Marbled Murrelets and some of the most productive and pristine streams for Coho salmon on the Oregon Coast. The Elliott State Forest Has been the site of some of Oregon’s fiercest conservation battles in recent years but there is hope on the horizon that this treasure will be permanently protect and managed for its habitat and recreational values. Learn More.