50 Square Miles of Central Oregon Forest Goes Up For Sale

Oregon Public Broadcasting highlights comments from Executive Director, Brad Chalfant related to the future of Skyline Forest.
By Emily Cureton
Oregon Public Broadcasting

About 50 square miles of Central Oregon is for sale.

Highway 20 between Bend and Sisters offers views of the property bordering Deschutes National Forest. The asking price: $127 million.

The figure dwarfs previous sale prices for the 33,000-acre tree farm and recreational area known as Bull Springs Skyline Forest.

A view of the Three Sisters from Bull Springs Skyline Forest, which is up for sale.
A view of the Three Sisters from Bull Springs Skyline Forest, which is up for sale.

A view of the Three Sisters from Bull Springs Skyline Forest, which is up for sale.

Jay Mather/Deschutes Land Trust

The property has long interested developers and conservationists. In 2005, creditors of a bankrupt timber company sold the acreage to an investor who proposed development of manorly estates and a golf course.

That never happened. But the idea motivated conservation groups, which have campaigned to buy the property ever since.

“I’m thrilled the landowner has shown interest in potentially selling it,” said Brad Chalfant of Deschutes Land Trust. “This has real implications for the future of Central Oregon.”

As the Bend Bulletin reports, the property is zoned for forest operations, but is being marketed for a variety of potential uses.

“When you combine the resources of timber, wildlife, water, recreation, conservation and redevelopment potential together with its close proximity to Bend, Oregon, you will find it is truly ‘One of a Kind,’” a press release from brokers Mason & Morse Ranch Company said.

As timber, the property’s approximate 72,000-thousand board feet of mostly pine is worth just one-fifth the asking price, according to recent price indexes for logs.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the amount of board feet that could potentially be harvested from Bull Springs Skyline Forest. OPB regrets the error. 

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