State Board of Land Commissioners
The State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) comprises Idaho's Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Controller.
The Land Board provides direction to the Department of Lands in managing more than 2.4 million acres of state endowment trust lands in Idaho. The Land Board also oversees the work of the Department of Lands in its regulatory and assistance duties, and in managing Idaho's public trust lands - the thousands of miles of land beneath Idaho's navigable waterways.
When Idaho was admitted to the Union as the 43rd state in 1890, it was granted 3,672,000 acres of land to support state institutions, primarily the state's public school system. The land was granted under the condition that it be managed in perpetuity as a trust for the beneficiary institutions. Read more...
Endowment trust lands are tied to specific funds and beneficiaries. There are nine state endowment funds, the largest of which supports Idaho’s public school system. Beneficiaries of all the endowment funds are:
- Idaho Public Schools
- University of Idaho
- State hospitals for the mentally ill
- Lewis-Clark State College
- State veterans homes
- Idaho State University
- Capitol Commission
- Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind
- Idaho’s juvenile corrections system and prison system
The Endowment Fund Investment Board is the nine-member board and staff that provide professional investment management services to the Land Board, among other stakeholders.
Each endowment has both permanent assets – which can never be spent – and a reserve fund of accumulated earnings that acts as a buffer. The permanent assets include 2.4 million acres of endowment trust land and money in a Permanent Fund. Investment earnings from the Permanent Fund as well as ongoing land revenues, such as the money from timber sales, go to the Earnings Reserve fund. The Land Board annually determines the allocation of the reserve account – how much to distribute to the beneficiaries, how much to transfer to the permanent fund to offset inflation, and how much to retain for future distribution.