Monthly Archives: March 2017

Your own Private Idaho (or Oregon)

Update 05/09/2017 – The Department of State Lands Board voted unanimously to keep the Elliot State Forest in public ownership and directed staff to explore other means of moving the property from the Common School Fund Trust. 

Update 04/03/2017 – It appears that State Treasurer, Tobias Read is having second thoughts on the matter and may be reversing his support of selling the Elliot State Forest to private interests.  That would make it 2-1 against, with the only supporter now being Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

As a former resident of the Gem State, I’ve been curious about a 1990’s film named “My Own Private Idaho” when it shows up in the guide as I’m channel surfing. The title of the film gives one the impression that it might be a movie about the wild and scenic portions of the western USA.  In actuality, the film is about a couple of homeless hustlers in Portland, Oregon that do whatever it takes to make a buck, including prostituting themselves.

The old adage that “Life Imitates Art” recently occurred in the Beaver State as the Oregon Land Board voted 2 to 1 to sell off the Elliot State Forest for roughly $200 million dollars to a Timber conglomerate.  This 93,000 acre chunk of publicly owned property contained, by some estimates, $500 Million dollars worth of lumber. The purchasers got a pretty good deal – spend $200 Million for something worth twice that amount.  But the deal is even sweeter when you get down to the details.  Once the timber company has raped and pillaged, extracted every last bit of income they can get, they have an option to sell the property back to the State for another handful of millions!  Then the taxpayers in Oregon can pay to clean up the mess, plant new trees and rebuild the forest (most likely to sell it off again in a few decades).

Couple all that with the fact that Oregon has the most lenient Forest Practices regulations in the West, and the newly minted Commander in Chief is attempting to do away with that pesky EPA, and you’ve got a recipe for taking the entire Forest down to bare dirt. Fish and Wildlife will be decimated.  Water, air and soil conditions will be horrendous.  And let me point this out one more time – they will sell this great wasteland BACK TO THE STATE OF OREGON!  You and I will again be owners of what we once owned, only now, it’s going to cost us millions of dollars and years of work and waiting before it will ever be considered a forest again. In the meantime, species of fish, plants and animals will suffer or completely disappear.

My entrepreneurial friends may wonder – how can I work such a lucrative deal myself?  It’s really quite simple! Simple if you happen to be be wealthy to begin with, or have access to venture capital funding  If that is you, then here’s all you need to do:

  1.  Identify a piece of Oregon Public Land that you can profit from
  2. Make campaign contributions to the Governor, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer candidates (Be sure to contribute to both parties candidates, just for insurance)
  3. Shortly after the election, make your offer to the State Land Board (Since you now “own” the 3 members of the Board, you’ll get approval for sure!)
  4. Take ownership of the property and begin extraction as soon as possible
  5. Once you’ve taken everything of value (timber, mineral resources, etc.) just walk away, it’s not your problem!
  6. Sell the property back to the State of Oregon for 10-20% of what you paid for it (This is your exit bonus)

That’s it!  You’ve now more than doubled your money.  You’ve sent the raw materials overseas so that foreign interests can profit by selling products made from those raw materials back to American citizens.

There are a few more ways you can maximize your profits, but I’ll save those bits of information for another post.  Come back soon and learn how to avoid property taxes, get income tax breaks on the profits.  And if you have the moral fortitude of our new president, you can even file for Chapter 11 and not have to pay back any loans you may have incurred to work the deal in the first place!  Yup, America is going be great again, starting right here in Your Own Private Oregon.