Trust Land Transfer Program
The Department of Natural Resources manages more than 3 million acres of state trust forest, agricultural, range and commercial properties. Trust lands earn income to build schools, universities and other state institutions and help fund local services in many counties. They also provide important habitat for fish and wildlife, recreation, and educational opportunities for the public.
The Department strives to improve returns from state trust lands; however, not all trust lands are best suited for income production. Some lands have important social or ecological values that are desirable of protection for public use and benefit.
The Trust Land Transfer Program provides an opportunity to retain identified special trust lands in public ownership while maintaining and improving economic return to trust beneficiaries.
The Legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer Program accomplishes these important objectives for Common School Trust lands. Designated properties are appraised and transferred at market value. The value of the timber is deposited into the Common School Construction Account to provide immediate revenue for schools K-12. The value of the land is used to acquire replacement property better suited to generate future revenue for common schools.
The timbered property is transferred to another public agency to be managed and protected for public use and enjoyment. The legislation stipulates that the aggregate timber value of all transfers be at least 80% of the total appropriation. This high timber to land ratio of value insures that most of the appropriation is directed to K-12 education in the current biennium. Properties with lower timber to land value ratios are often unsuited for this program.