If you went to public school in Idaho, endowment lands helped fund your education. Those lands are funding schools today, and vital public services provided by eight other beneficiaries. If you pay taxes in Idaho, the amount is decreased because of endowment land revenue. If you or someone you know works in the timber industry, those workers – as well as the greater economy – have benefited from endowment lands. Many people also enjoy managed camping and trail use on these lands.
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When Idaho became a state, Congress granted Idaho endowment trust land for the sole purpose of funding specified beneficiaries, which are largely public schools. Idaho’s original land grant included 3,650,763 acres. Since then, ownership has been consolidated and some land has been sold, with the proceeds reinvested. This land forms the core of a perpetual trust, with the land generating revenue for nine endowment beneficiaries forever.