Central Oregon

Central Oregon

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CENTRAL OREGON — Secured creditors Cascade Timberlands has sold a 70% interest in bankrupt Crown Pacific to Fidelity National Financial, transferring control of nearly 293,000 acres of timberland. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Deschutes Basin Land Trust, a private nonprofit group, hopes to acquire from Fidelity National at least a 33,000-acre viewshed parcel in the Cascade foothills just northwest of Bend known as the Skyline Forest. Brad Chalfant, the trust’s executive director, would utilize the country’s first Community Forest Authority, a quasi-municipal corporation able to lend money to private non-profits in exchange for timber harvest revenues, to help finance the timberland purchase. Fidelity National will first evaluate all 26 parcels within the timberland for their potential for timber harvesting, development and conservation. “Depending on the size of this transaction, it could be the largest community forest in the United States,” says Chalfant.