It’s national Arbor Day and if planting a tree isn’t your thing, maybe buying trees is.
If you have $127,000,000, then a forest right outside of Bend is calling your name.
“We refer to it as the backyard of Bend and Sisters,” said Ben Gordon, the Executive Director of the Central Oregon Landwatch
The Bull Springs Skyline Forest is up for sale.
It is vast, at 33,000 acres, and 80% of that land is covered in Ponderosa Pines planted around 45 years ago.
“Skyline Forest has always been private timber land,” said Rika Ayotte, the Executive Director of the Deschutes Land Trust “It’s changed hands many times.”
Since 1916, the land has acted as a timber forest and recreational land with its current owners managing the grounds for the past decade.
We reached out to the owners and the real estate team selling the forest, and they declined to comment at this time.
“It’s our hope that whoever buys Skyline Forest, whether that’s a private buyer or a private organization for conservation focuses on conserving that property for the community,” Ayotte said.
The area is currently zoned for exclusive forest use, which is why some land activists want to make sure the forest is conserved.
“For going on two decades, Central Oregon Land Watch’s hope is to see that property end up in the public domain,” Gordon said.
Due to its hefty price tag, activists can only wait to see what will happen to the land, which has been on the market for 3 years.
Once sold, Deschutes Land Trust hopes to work with the new owners for conservation.
“In the next several weeks we’re working with a group of 30-50 stakeholders to develop a shared vision for Skyline Forest that we hope whoever ends up buying the property will be willing to work with our community to implement,” Ayotte said.
Central Oregon Land watch also drafted a petition for the land to enter public ownership.
“The petition is really an invitation for people who are concerned about the fate of this property,” Gordon said.