Earlier this month, the Oregon State Land Board voted to reverse its earlier decision to sell the Elliott State Forest north of Coos Bay to a group led by Lone Rock Timber.
The sale, which the three-member board tentatively agreed to in February for a price of $221 million, collapsed May 9 under the weight of opposition from environmental groups.
Last week, the Roseburg News-Review reported that Roseburg-based Lone Rock has filed a tort claim notice with the state, seeking to recoup $1.3 million in expenses and $2 million in damages for the increase in value since the board, composed of Gov. Kate Brown, state Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, agreed to the sale.
"Our unique coalition operated in good faith and met every criteria identified in the state's transparent, multi-year process to sell the forest," Toby Luther, CEO of Lone Rock, said in a statement to the News-Review. "It's clear now, however, that the governor had no intention of accepting a proposal under the established protocol. You cannot simultaneously encourage bidders and commit to bidders publicly while privately planning a shift in policy."
State officials did not immediately respond to the News Review's request for comment on the tort claim notice; however, it is their policy not to comment on pending litigation.