In March of 2010 we started to witness the results of a sweetheart land privatizaion deal between the Oregon Department of State Lands and Giustina Resources based in Lane County Oregon. In 2009 Larry Giustina who happened to be a Oregon Board of Forestry Board (OBOF) Member at the time was able to convince the Oregon Department of State Lands as well as his fellow OBOF associates to offer 621 acres of mature forests in South Gate Creek in the McKenzie River watershed for exchange to his cousin Dan Giustina for a failing 63 tract subdivision in Redmond, Oregon. These Common School Fund parcels were not part of the original parcels to be offered for sale by the Department of State Lands. But it appears that the Oregon Board of Forestry had something to do with adding these special parcels sometime later in the process. To read an Eric Mortenson/Oregonian article describing the official account of the so called legitimate exchange click here.
In addition, Giustina Resources also acquired 55 acres of Common School Fund Land that contained ancient forest with trees up to 500 years old (see story and pictures below) in the headwaters of North Fork Quartz Creek also in the McKenzie River watershed.
Subsequent to this "legitimate" exchange here is what I witnessed in March 2010 in Giustina's log deck yard just outside Eugene, Oregon.
I was astounded by the size and age of the tree corpses I witnessed stacked at the Giustina log yard.
The next day we followed a one log load from the Giustina Log yard to Coos Bay company called Overseas Exports.
A few weeks earlier another forest activists witnessed many huge ancient tree corpses including one log loads coming out of Blue River Reservoir Road from the North Fork Quartz Creek. He later inquired to the Forest Service about whether these ancient trees were from National Forest lands. The Forest Service stated that these logs where not coming from National Forest lands. However, the Forest Service relayed that they were aware of some logging being done up North Fork Quartz Creek via their forest road network by Giustina Resources.
Below is is a 5 foot in diameter leftover ( I suppose it had too many large upper limbs to make the grade for export) located in the once publicly owned North Fork Quartz Creek land that was "legitimately" auctioned to Giustina Resources.
The Oregon Department of State Lands approved this deal and to this day denies they were bamboozled by Larry or Dan Giustina or the Oregon Department of Forestry.
We ask if this case in point is not enough to cause public suspicion of said transaction and to initiate a formal public ethics inquiry by the current State Land Board or the Attorney General then what does?